Tune of the Day: The Girls of Banbridge
The earliest appearance of this jig in Irish collections is in Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland, published in Chicago in 1903. However, the tune is probably older, as very similar melodies (such as “The Sylph”) can be found in English manuscripts dating from the early 19th century.
Banbridge, located in County Down about 15 miles south of Belfast, was once an important stop on the Dublin to Belfast stagecoach route. It features a very unusual main street, rising to a steep hill before leveling out. In 1834 an underpass, commonly known as “The Cut”, was built to prevent horses with heavy loads from fainting before reaching the top of the hill.