Paddy Heagerty's Leather Breeches

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PADDY HEAGERTY'S LEATHER BREECHES. AKA "Old Leather Breeches." Irish, Song Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. A 19th century comic Irish street ballad (Roud no. 923), printed on songsheets and songsters such as P.J. Kennedy’s The Universal Irish Song Book (New York, 1884), Henry De Marsan's New Comic and Sentimental Singer's Journal (1871), and J. H. Ogden's Gems of Ould Ireland (1860). The first stanza goes:

It was at the sign of the Bell, on the road to Clonmel,
Paddy Hegarty kept a neat shebeen;
He sold pig's meat and bread, kept a good lodgin' bed,
And so well liked round the country had been;
Himself and his wife both struggled thro' life.
In the week days Pat mended the ditches,
But on Sunday he dressed in a coat of the best.
But his pride was his old leather breeches.

The title has been applied to various 6/8 tunes (see O'Neill's "Old Leather Breeches (1)"), and has even entered Scottish bagpipe repertory (see "Paddy's Leather Britches").

Source for notated version: The mid-19th century music manuscript collection of uilleann piper and Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman [Shields].

Printed sources: Shields (Tunes of the Munster Pipers), 1998; No. 181, p. 75.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Hear a field recording of the song from the pub singing of John Cranny at ITMA [1]
Hear Andrew Moar's sung rendition [2]




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