Wow - this poll wasn't even close, and I can't say I'm sorry: Crested Hens - originally Les Poules Huppées - is a wonderful French tune that lends itself to a variety of styles. I can't wait to see what you folks will do with it.
As I said in the poll, I first heard this played by the great Irish band Solas, and that lovely version apparently was the model for many other recordings: hauntingly slow and lyrical. It's amazing how many Irish groups do this French tune thanks to Solas.
But this tune was originally a bouree and often played as a mazurka; On the Anglo International CD, Nigel Chippendale paired the tune - here simply called Mazurka - with Petit Valse, both played as lively dance tunes. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any dance versions of the tune on YouTube.
Here's a fuller description from the Traditional Tune Archive page, with the original 3/8 notation and the 3/4 version played by Solas:
CRESTED HENS, THE (Les Poules Huppées). French, Bourrée à 3 temps (3/8 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). Composed in 1983 by French national and hurdy-gurdy (vielle a roue) player, Gilles Chabenat, who remarks that some bars of a Debussy composition served as inspiration for the germ of the tune. It is of a type from central France, where it is also a folk dance, and is usually played at a medium tempo though this tune is often heard played slower, a la the Irish group Solas (who popularised the tune and translated the title). Gilles remarks that the title was a kind of nonsense play, from his teenage years. The tune is often mistakenly ascribed Breton origins, of varying degrees of antiquity, however, it is a modern composition by Chabenat.
It can sound great played in a melody-only style, but it also has great potential for a harmonic piece. There are lots of ways to make this tune your own.
As promised, here's a recording of the basic melody, in Em. Please remember: I learn this stuff by ear, and my versions are not at all authoritative.
Here's some notation on the ABC home page:
And an image file:
And, thanks to Sqzbxr, the raw ABCs:
T:Les Poules Huppees
O:Gilles Chabenat 1983, France
|:"Em"E3 GFE|B4 Bc|"G"dc Be dc|"D"dc BA GF|"Em"E3 GFE|B4 Bc|"D"dc BA GA|"Em"B3 G FD|
E3 GFE|B4 Bc|"G"dc Be dc|"D"dc BA GF|"Em"E3 GFE|B4 Bc|"D"dc BA GA|"Em"B4 ef|
gB Bg gB|"C"=c4 ef|"D"gf ag fe|"B7"^d2 e2 f2|"Em"gB Bg gB|"C"=c4 ef|"D"gf ag fd|"Em"e3 e ef|
gB Bg gB|"C"=c4 ef|"D"gf ag fe|"B7"^d2 e2 f2| "Em"gB Bg gB|"C"=c4 ef|"D"gf ag fd|"Em"e3 G FA:|
Edited by Jim Besser, 30 September 2014 - 08:45 PM.