Poll Ha'penny (1)
X:1 T:Slieve-na-mhon T:Poll Halfpenny  M:C| L:1/8 R:Hornpipe S:”By Michael O’Grady, Castleisland, Co. Kerry.” S:P.D. Reidy music manuscript collection, London, 1890’s (No. 13) N:”Professor” Patrick Reidy of Castleisland was a dancing N:master engaged by the Gaelic League in London to teach N:dance classes. He introduced “Siege of Ennis” and “Walls N:of Limerick” ceili dances and wrote a treatise on dancing. F: http://rarebooks.library.nd.edu/digital/bookreader/MSE_1434-1/#page/1/mode/1up Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D (fe)|dcAG A2 (FA)|dcAF GAcd|eged cAdc|A2 (AG) ABcd| f2 (gf) (3efg ec|dcdf g2 (fg)|aged cAdc|A2 (A>A) A2:| |:(ef)|g2 (ga) gede|g2 (ga) gfed|e2a2 aged|eaaa abag| f2 (fd) egec|dcdf g2 (fg)|aged cAdc|A2 (A>A) A2:|]
POLL HA'PENNY (Maire na leat-pingin/ Maire na leat-pingean). AKA and see "Carolan's Dream," "Brian the Brave (1),” "Garraí na bhFéileóig (Garden of Butterflies),” “Holey Ha'Penny/Halfpenny,” "Molly Halfpenny/Ha'penny," "Molly MacAlpin," "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music," "Paul Ha'Penny," “Remember the Glories of Brian the Brave.” Irish, Hornpipe, Long or Set Dance (4/4 time). A Dorian (Mulvihill). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1915 & 1001): AAB (O'Neill/1850): AABB (Mitchell, Mulvihill, O'Neill/Krassen). "Poll Ha'penny" has been described as a derivative dance version of the air “Molly MacAlpin,” composed either by ancient harper Laurence O’Connellan, born at Cloonmahon, County Sligo, in the mid-17th century (c. 1645) or by harper William Connellan (O’Sullivan, Carolan, 1958, p. 289). Donal O'Sullivan in his Carolan biography (vol. 1, p. 18) reported that the Irish harper and composer O’Carolan (1670-1738) thought so highly of this tune that he was supposed to have said he would rather have been its composer than any of his own melodies. Ciaran Carson, in his book Last Night’s Fun (1996) thinks it may be possible that the title “Poll Ha’penny” may have derived from the English title “Holey Ha'penny,” since the word poll in Irish means ‘hole’. O’Sullivan (Carolan, 1958, p. 290) says that the title derived from the original name of the tune, “Molly MacAlpin," because 'MacAlpin' became ‘Halpin’ and thence ‘Halfpenny.’ See “Molly MacAlpin” for more on the history of this older tune. See also the related English variant “Radstock Jig (The),” collected by Cecil Sharp from the playing of Somerset musician James Higgins, and Francis O'Neill's distanced "Hawk's/Hawke's Hornpipe."
The famous Irish-American uilleann piper Patsy Tuohey, a stage player and one of collector Francis O’Neill's informants, recorded this tune on an Edison wax cylinder. Piper Michael Carney recorded "Poll Ha'penny" in a duet with his friend and one-time roommate, fiddler James Morrison in New York in 1929. It was recorded in modern times by whistle player Mary Bergin under the title “Garraí na bhFéileóig (Garden of Butterflies).