The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33332   Message #443345
Posted By: IanC
18-Apr-01 - 09:00 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Bluebell Polka (Jimmy Shand?)
Subject: Bluebell Polka

I'm wondering if there's any more information on "The Bluebell Polka" as played by Jimmy Shand. I have the following so far.

It appears to have been copyrighted in the USA as "Little Pet Polka" by Louis Wallis in 1882, he may well have written it, though there is no clear evidence of that so far.

About 1905 it was recorded by a James Brown, described as "Champion Accordion Player".

A Sligo fiddler called James Morrison appears to have adopted it in the 1920s, changing its name to "The Curlew Hills" in honour of a local Co. Sligo landmark. Other Irish versions with the same name (e.g. a Donegal recording by Topic) seem to have arrived from this source.

Jimmy Shand recorded the tune under the title "The Bluebell Polka" in 1955, reaching No. 20 in the UK hit parade and selling over 100,000 copies.

It was collected from Walter Bulwer and his band in Norfolk during the 1950s and attributed by them to Shand, though they appear to have also known it as "Little Pet Polka".

Can you add any more information?