Ballydesmond Polka 3

Polka, A Dorian, Traditional Irish
Also known as: The Mist on the Glen; The Ballydesmond; Kerry No. 1; Andy Boyle’s

Ballydesmond Polka No. 3. The Mist on the Glen. Traditional Irish. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together October 2, 2022. copyright Jonathan Lay 2022.

“Ballydesmond Polka 3” and “The Mist on the Glen” are two of the names for this traditional Irish polka. It is one of the “Ballydesmond Polkas,” a collection of tunes often played as a set. Which of the tunes is in the set, what order they are played in, and what name each tune goes by varies widely. Whatever the construction of the set, these tunes are cheerful and fun to play. Ballydesmond is a rural village in County Cork, in Ireland’s Sliabh Luachra region. Be sure to look at the “Nifty Mnemonics” lyrics below for a handy way to remember the melody — and which of the Ballydesmond Polkas this one is.


Dots (Music Notation)

As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.

Sheet music for Ballydesmond Polka No. 3. Traditional Irish polka in A Dorian. Chords for Ballydesmond Polka No. 3 (Mist on the Glen). Arr. Jonathan Lay 9/23/2022.
Play from the Dots
Slow tempo 95bpm
Moderate tempo 115bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

  • Ballydesmond Polka 2 / Ballydesmond Polka 1 / Ballydesmond Polka 3
  • Ballydesmond Polka 1 / Ballydesmond Polka 2 / Ballydesmond Polka 3
  • Ballinafad (G) / Denis Murphy’s (D) / Mist on the Glen (A Dor)

Nifty Mnemonics –
Lyrics for Remembering the Tune

Here are some silly lyrics to help you remember how the tune goes. (They are not traditional.)

Ballydesmond Polka 3 -- memory aid lyrics by Jonathan Lay

A Part (2x):
   Ballydesmond Polka number three or number x, yes it's Ballydesmond polka number something or whatever!

B Part (2x):
   Hop and hop and hop and turn, and hop and hop and hop and turn, hop and hop and hop and turn, the Ballydesmond Polka

(Copyright Jonathan Lay 2021)

References and Resources

For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.