Swinging around the Circle

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X:1 T:Swinging around the Circle M:C| L:1/8 R:Hornpipe S:O’Neill – Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems (1907), No. 947 Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D FG|ABAG FDFA|BABc dcdB|AfdB AFDF|EDEF E2 FG| ABAG FDFA|BABc dcdB|AdcB AGFE|D2 DE D2:| |:FG|Ad (3dcd Ad (3dcd|Adfd edcd|efgf edcf|edcB AGFG| Ad (3dcd Ad (3dcd|Adfd edcd|efgf edce|d2 dc d2:|]

SWINGING AROUND THE CIRCLE (Ag luascanact fa cuairt). Irish (?), Hornpipe (cut time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. O’Neill’s “Swinging around the Circle” is a member of a moderately large but very widespread tune family that probably originated in early 19th century New England (see Saunders’ “Favorite Hornpipe (5) (A)). Joseph Allard's “Reel des chantiers”/"Reel du chauffeur” is a related tune, as is the Kentucky “Old Voile.” However, O'Neill's version probably derived from "Ned Kendall's Hornpipe (2)", printed in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883), which itself may have derived from Saunders' "Favorite Hornpipe (5) (A)." O'Neill does not list his sources for tunes in his Dance Music of Ireland (1907), and only remarked in his writings that "This is one of my old-time hornpipes"; a cryptic phrase, for we don't know which "old time" he is referring to. It does not appear to have Irish antecedents or connections, and a plausible hypothesis is that O'Neill picked it up in America, perhaps when he was teaching school in Missouri (where he went to dances), or in his time sheepherding in the West. The 'old time' he is referring to may have been his earlier years in America.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 947, p. 162.

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