From the recording Jackie Tar / Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine / Plains of Boyle
These are three hornpipes, a dance that came over to Ireland from England in the late 1600's apparently. I play several hornpipes that started their lives as tunes in earlier guises, as Irish airs and harp tunes, and I think the hornpipe rhythm (which emphasizes the two and four of the beat, sort of like reggae) was a popular way of "jazzing up" older tunes at the time. These three are all favorite session tunes, I started playing them on the flute and then worked them out on the guitar. I'm not sure where I first heard Jackie Tar, it might have been on a compliation of music from south Sligo. Bonaparte was a request by Bob Keating, a friend and guitar student of mine. Plains of Boyle was one of the tunes Mike Rafferty taught at the Boxwood camp in 2001. Mike grew up in East Galway and has a wonderful repertoire of old Irish tunes which he plays in a strong and rhythmic style all his own. I remember sitting in the Lunenberg town hall (Boxwood takes place in Lunenberg Nova Scotia each summer) behind three grey haired women while Mike was playing. He was in his mid 70's at the time, and the three ladies were all swooning over him!