Thursday, 24 September 2015

Poll Ha'penny (hornpipe): Brendan (eile)

Poll Ha'penny (hornpipe)

I have to admit to having a soft spot for hornpipes and the Poll Ha'penny is a particular favourite. Apparently, the tune is a dance version of an air - Molly McAlpin - which was composed by one of the Connellan brothers, Sligo harpers who flourished in the late 17th century. The tunes also appears under a variety of names including Pol Ha'penny, Paul Halfpenny, Molly Ha'penny, Molly Halfpenny, Brian the Brave and Garden of Butterflies (and its Irish translation Garraí na Bfeileoig).

Here's the Galway-based harpist Emily Cullen performing Molly McAlpin.

And here's a version of the hornpipe by Dublin fiddler Tommy Potts.

And here I am. The triplets make it sound more complicated to play than it actually is ...

Two particularly nice banjo versions can be found on Angelina Carberry's An Tradisiún Beo (2005) and Seán O'Driscoll's So There You Go (2012). 

Sheet music and ABC notation can be found HERE and for those who prefer tablature click HERE 


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