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Swaggering Boney

[trad. arr. Martin Carthy]

Martin Carthy played the tune Swaggering Boney on his 1979 album Because It’s There; it was reissued in 1993 on The Collection. A version recorded live in Switzerland in 1975 can be found on the double LP 4. Folk-Festival auf der Lenzburg.

Steve Winick wrote in the The Collection sleeve notes:

Swaggering Boney was a flattering nickname given to Napoleon Bonaparte, a frequent character in English and Irish folklore (he’s often the hero in Irish songs and the villain in English ones). In the arrangement of this dance tune, Martin’s conviction that tunes should be subservient to dances determines the tempo. He says he learnt it “by osmosis.”