Denis Murphy’s Polka

It’s time that Peter suggested a tune for the website and in looking for nice versions of Jimmy Allen, he came across this old nugget and fell in love all over again. It is a lovely tune and worth becoming a favourite again. It’s a polka which means something to many people (I’m not sure I understand the significance) but most of all, it’s fun to play, you’re bound to have heard it before and it’s even got some lovely chords (many thanks to Jon Fletcher, as ever).

There is a little debate on the spelling… most YouTube recordings have Dennis, but according to the discussion on TheSession.org it was written by Denis Murphy a Kerry Fiddler (see Wikipedia), so I’ve stuck with the Denis. It’s important to call it a polka (undoubtedly for the playing too, but we’ll have to learn more for that) because there is a different tune called Denis Murphy’s reel.

If you haven’t heard Planxty play Denis Murphy’s polka, then I recommend starting there, but not to worry, there are plenty of versions on youtube and many of them slower than Planxty.

Careful fiddle tutorial
Tin whistle
Fast banjo
Fast but nice arrangement
Tin whistle and guitar together

pdf here