The Butterfly


Time Signature: 9.8

Key of Tune: G

Tune Type: Slip Jig

Number of Bars: 24

Description:  – much discussion about origins of tune and whether to play a D or a Cnatural in first bar of B part:

According to Fintan Vallely’s “Companion to Irish Traditional Music,” Mr. Potts was born in the Coombe, Dublin, in 1912. He died in 1988. He was known as an eclectic improvisational composer on fiddle, following a conscious choice on his part to “explore alternative routes in setting and key.” Word has it that Tommy would alter trad tunes so far that he found his music poorly suited for sessions and ensemble playing. He included influences from jazz and classical, and he is credited with having perhaps a deeper influence on IRTRAD today, through the playing of Martin Hayes, Joe Ryan, Paddy Canny, and Paddy O’Brien, than even Michael Coleman. So if Potts was indeed the Butterfly’s composer, he’d probably wonder why people would debate c natural vs. d or Bm chords vs Em. “Use ‘em both,” he’d probably say. “Wonder what other notes/chords might work?”
Will# Posted .

It’s my understanding that only the “A” section is fully by Tommy Potts. The “B” and “C” sections are (or are at least were based on) a traditional slip jig called Bill Groggin’s Goat. # Posted by .

This is related to the tune Bobbing Joan, or Bobbing John. See and search down for Boban John, or Bob and Joan. It appears in Playfords 1st ed 1651. It is very old, and has been used for some broadside ballads, including “My Dog and I”

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