Plains of Boyle (hornpipe)I'm on a roll (quantity rather than quality) and have parked the Stack of Barley for the moment and recorded another hornpipe instead - the Plains of Boyle. The tune is named after an area east of Boyle, Co. Roscommon, which is long since known for the quality of its pastures for "fattening horned cattle". In fact , it is said that the plains of Boyle would "fatten a bullock and a sheep to the acre"!
I'm led to believe that the tune is also sometimes jokingly referred to as Roscommon Airport or Roscommon Air Force or Trans-Roscommon Airways (AeroPlanes of Boyle ... get it!?). There's not an airport within an asses roar of Boyle!
Anyway, there's a great article (HERE) about the tune by Eddie, a musician and teacher based in Kansas, so I'll not cover the same ground. All I'll say is that there's an interesting early recording of the tune by Leitrim flautist turned piper Michael Gallagher (c. 1890-1972) from 1924 (HERE). It has been widely recorded since too: Paddy Killoran & James Morrison, From Ballymote to Brooklyn (1929), Johnny Cronin & Joe "Banjo" Burke, Cronin and Burke (1977); Paddy Glackin and Paddy Keenan. Doublin' (1978); Brian Rooney, Leitrim to London (2002) and Matt Molloy & John Carty with Arty McGlynn, Pathway to the Well (2007) to name but a few.
In terms of banjo recordings from which to draw inspiration, there is also John Carty & Brian McGrath, The Cat that Ate the Candle (1994) and Stevie Dunne, Stevie Dunne Banjo (2013). And here is the latter artist performing the Plains of Boyle at the launch of that same album:
And here's my slower version ...