Tune Notes for Phoenix: All Fired Up

Most of these tunes were learned orally by various band members in sessions, or from friends.
Publishing details, where given, are to assist other musicians to find - and play! - them.


1.  Ruardean Sword Bearer's Tune / Getting Upstairs / 29th of May  (24 bar polkas)

The Ruardean Sword Bearer's Tune was collected in 1909 by Cecil Sharp from the playing of Henry Allen, who had played the tune for the Ruardean Morris Dancers in the 1870s.  The tune is a version of the Cavalier ballad When the King Enjoys His Own Again, composed by Martin Parker in the 1640s.  Steve learned the tune from Johnny Adams.

Getting Upstairs is from the repertory of William Kimber, one-time musician to the Headington Quarry Morris Dancers.

29th May is in the 1686 edition of John Playford's Dancing Master.  It was subsequently used as a setting for the children's hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful written by Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848.

In 1660, Parliament declared 29th May a public holiday, Royal Oak Day "to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King's return to his Government, he entering London that day."  The public holiday on 29th May, commonly known as Oak Apple Day, was formally abolished in 1859.

We love this little set - but where do you find a caller who knows a 24 bar polka dance?


2.  Shepherd Boy's March / Sheffield Hornpipe / The High Tea  (hornpipes)

Rod learned the Shepherd Boy's March, many years ago, from Eliza Carthy, who thought it was an American tune.  And so it is; it was a 'breakdown' in the repertory of African-American Missouri fiddler Bill Driver.

The Sheffield Hornpipe appears in the William Thomas Green (1825-98) MS, circa 1835, he was piper to the Duchess of Northumberland.  It was also published in the Charlton Memorial Tunebook in 1956, reprinted in 1974, by the Northumbrian Pipers' Society; and that may be where they got it from.

The High Tea was written by our friend Michelle Soinne in acknowledgement of Willy and Nancy Taylor's hospitality.


3.  Blue Morning / Madeleine's Waltz / Larry's Waltz  (waltzes)

Blue, Blue Morning was written by Robin and Linda Williams as the tune of a song of that name.  Rod was given a cassette copy of the LP by Ian Anderson, loved the tune, and has played it ever since.

Madeleine's Waltz was composed by Belgian flautist and bagpiper Wim Poesen.  Kevin and Fran picked it up because they came into the last few moments of Wim's workshop in the garden of the Volunteer in Sidmouth before a Grand Union gig there, and copies were just lying around, so they took one, and learned it.

Larry's Waltz was composed by New Hampshire pianist and accordionist Bob McQuillen.


4.  Reunion Jig / Sarah's Jig / Fox & Geese  (jigs)

The Reunion Jig was written by the American guitarist Russ Barenberg, and is in The Portland Collection (Susan Songer 1997).

Sarah's Jig was written by American accordionist and pianist Bob McQuillen, and can also be found in The Portland Collection.  Rod thinks he's changed the A music a bit.

Steve learned Fox and Geese (under its alternative title Bonny Lass) from melodeonist Nick Barber many years ago; the tune was printed in Wright's Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances of 1742.


5.  Alexandra Park / Mount Hills / Ganglåt från Mockförd  (hornpipes)

Alexandra Park was printed in the late C19th in Kerr's Fourth Collection of Merry Melodies for the Violin.  Apparently the tune's named after a city park in Glasgow.

Mount Hills was printed in the 1701 edition of John Playford's Dancing Master, and it used to be very popular in sessions.

Ganglåt från Mockförd came to Mike and Fran via Jane Diehl in Derbyshire about 20 years ago.  It also went across the Atlantic and Mike has a very fine 2000 recording of it played by George Wilson from New England.  Steve and Rod heard it at the Ripponden sessions.


6.  Nantwich Fair / Enfield Wash / Spirit of the Dance  (jigs)

Steve learned Nantwich Fair from the book Northern Frisk, put together by Jamie Knowles and others.

Enfield Wash is probably traditional and appears in Book 3 of The Fallibroome Collection.  Rod learned it from Simon Ritchie, and it was also given to Steve by Vic Gammon in the 1990s and was recorded by them in 2004 as both a waltz and a jig for the Dearman, Gammon & Harrison CD Black Crow / White Crow.  The tune was printed in Vol 8 of Johnson's Choice Collection of 1758.

Spirit of the Dance is in the manuscript book dated 1800 left by cellist Thomas Hardy (the novelist's grandfather).  It was one of the first tunes Fran learned to play in the early '80s, and it became a favourite with a youth folk band she was running at the time.  We intentionally miss out a beat at the start of the first A musics - there seem to be three ways of playing this tune, and we like this one ...  the dancers never seem to notice!


7.  Pearl O'Shaughnessy's Barndance  (banrndance)

We heard this Irish barndance on the terrific 2011 Dartry Céilí Band CD The Killavil Post.  It was associated with the fiddle player Pearl O'Shaughnessy, and was recorded on a 78 by Danny O'Donnell in 1946.


8.  Neil Taylor's Jig / Ann and Albert's Silver Wedding / Gallowglass Rant  (jigs)

Neil Taylor's Jig was written by the great Northumbrian fiddler Willy Taylor.  It came to us from Newcastle fiddler Sophy Ball.

Mike got Ann and Albert's Silver Wedding from Stewart Hardy when he was searching for its composer.  He never found one, but it is widely known in the North East, and Willy Taylor certainly played it and may have written it.  It can be found in Secrets of Jigs (Stewart Hardy 2009).

Gallowglass Rant is traditional, from the playing of The Shepherds.


9.  Tanner Man / Kentish Cricketers / Tip Top Hornpipe  (polkas)

Flos Headford wrote The Tanner Man many years ago, and it was first recorded by The English Country Dance Band in 1995.

Kentish Cricketers was printed in Rutherfords' Choice Collection of 1756.  We got it from Paul Burgess.

The Tip Top Hornpipe is from the 'concertina' repertory of the Royal Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup.


10.  Lang Johnny Moir / Old Man Quinn / Horse Keane's Hornpipe  (hornpipes)

We learned Lang Johnny Moir from our friend, fiddler Keith Ryan; the tune seems to have been composed by Brian McNeill as a setting for the Battlefield Band's version of the ballad of that name. 

Rod learned Old Man Quinn from Dan Quinn; it used to be a well-known session tune, and can be found in O'Neill's The Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems (1907).

We learned Horse Keane's Hornpipe from our session friend Mike Adcock. It was composed by Jimmy Keane, a piano-accordion player from Chicago, in memory of his father Jimmy 'Horse' Keane (1928-1989).


11.  Success to the Campaign / The Squall / Royal Burlesque  (reels)

Steve found Success to the Campaign in the Vickers collection of tunes dating from 1770.  The tune first appeared in London in John Walsh's Twenty-Four Country Dances (1764), reprinted in Thompson's 200 Country Dances, volume III (1773) where the alternate title Bath Frolick is given.  The tune soon found its way across the Atlantic to America where it was reliably reported to have been danced in 1780 at a ball given in Newport, Rhode Island, for George Washington and his staff.

Mike got The Squall and The Royal Burlesque from the session at the Rising Sun in Mossley in the 1980s.  They can both be found in Northern Frisk (Knowles, Knowles & McGrady, 1988).  Rod expanded The Squall from 16 to 32 bars to fit the set.


12.  Snowy Monday / Giga Ferrarese / My Darling Asleep  (jigs)

Snowy Monday was written by Willy Taylor, and can be found in The Alnwick Pipers' Second Tune Book (1988).

Rod learned Giga Ferrarese many years ago from northern Italian band Calicanto.

My Darling Asleep comes from O'Neill's 1001 Gems (1907).


13.  Laddie wi' the Plaidie / Will Atkinson's Schottische  (24 bar schottisches)

Rod learned The Laddie wi' the Plaidie many years ago from Kathryn Tickell, who, in turn, learned it from her grandfather.  It's a borders tune, which we were once told is called The Kielder Schottische in England; however we've subsequently been told that this is the name of the dance, and the tune is Laddie wi' the Plaidie.  It can be found in Kerr's First Collection of Merry Melodies for the Violin as The Lad wi' the Plaidie.

Will Atkinson's Schottische was apparently heard by him as a boy and remembered and played by him many years later.

As with Ruardean / Getting Uprsairs / 29th of May this as a great little set - but does anyone know a 24 bar schottische dance?


14.  King Columb's Sword / The Little Diamond / Hunt the Squirrel  (polkas)

Rod learned both King Columb's Sword and The Little Diamond many years ago from banjo playing friend Andy Perkins; unfortunately, Andy can remember nothing about them!  The Little Diamond a.k.a. The Girl from Lettermore, was recorded by James Morrison's Quartet in 1936.  King Columb's Sword - or at least its name - is of Irish origin; Sord Cholmkille, literally St Colm's Well, and Anglicised misleadingly into 'sword', and the saint may have been turned into a king because a sword is more regal than saintly.  Thanks to Phil Heath-Coleman for this information.

Vic Gammon gave this version of Hunt the Squirrel, in polka time rather than the more usual jig version, to Steve many years ago.  It came from a manuscript book left by William Voice in the late C18th or early C19th and was published in the Loughran & Gammon's Sussex Tune Book of 1981.


15.  Mike's (Untitled) Barndance / Dances at Kinvarra  (barndances)

Mike learned the Barndance from Buttons and Bows, an LP by Jackie Daly and the McGuire brothers, where it is unnamed.

Dances at Kinvarra was written by Ed Reavy, an Irish-American plumber who wrote a lot of good tunes.  It is published in The Collected Compositions of Ed Reavy (Joseph M Reavy, 1996).

Phoenix - Summer 2016