X:1 T:Madam Bonaparte M:C L:1/8 S:O'Neill - Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems (1907), No. 962 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion R:Set Dance (moderate hornpipe rhythm and tempo) K:A e/d/|c2 cB cecA|d2 dc dfdB|Aceg agaf|e2 ef edcB| c2 cB cecA|dcde fgaf|ecAc dBGB|A2A2A2:| |:cB|Aceg agaf|e2 ef edcB|Aceg agaf|e2 ef edcB| ceAe ceAe|dfBf dfBf|ceAe ceAe|GBEB GBEB| ceAe ceAe|dcde fgaf|ecAc dBGB|A2A2A2:|
MADAM(E) BONAPARTE (Banflait Bonapart). AKA and see "Bonaparte's Advance." Irish, Set Dance (4/4 time). G Major (Johnson, Moylan, Mulvihill, O'Neill/Krassen, Welling, Williamson): A Major (O'Neill/1915). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AABB'CC (Williamson). The tune is named in honor of Bonaparte's wife, the Empress Josephine, probably reflecting the Irish sympathy with powerful Catholic France and the hope that Napoleon might at some point aid the cause of Irish independence. According to Donal Hickey (Stone Mad for Music, 1999), "Madame Bonaparte" was associated with James Gandsey, 'the Killarney Minstrel', who died in 1857 at the age of 90. Gandsey survives in folk memory in the Sliabh Luachra (County Kerry/Cork border) region and some facts are clearly remembered. The son of a soldier in Ross Castle and a native Killarney mother, Gandsey was almost completely blinded in infancy by smallpox. He became known as Lord Headley's Piper and contributed several tunes to the regional repertoire, including as well "Jackson's Morning Brush" and "Fox Chase (3) (The)." He is buried in Muckross Abbey, Killarney, where a plaque has been erected in his memory. See also the related "Mike Sullivan's Hornpipe (1)."