It's that time again. Vote! Participate!
Irish: Dance of the Honeybees
For me, there’s nothing as much fun to play on concertina as a good hornpipe, and this is a cracking good one: the Dance of the Honeybees, written by the Irish fiddler Charlie Lennon.
Here's a version by the great Irish band Altan.
And a really weird video. What's with the mask, dude?
Lennon wrote a waltz with the same name to go with the hornpipe.
Here's a discussion about the tune.
French: Miz Kerzu
How about a lovely Breton waltz? Here’s one by Florence Pinvidic that, I believe, was written for diatonic accordion. But we played this at a French tunes workshop at the Northeast Squeeze In this month, with a veritable army of concertinas and accordions, and it was terrific.
The basic tune is pretty simple, as you can see in this video of a melodeon class, and this tune should be accessible to players of all concertina systems at all levels.
English: The Maid Peeped Out at the Window
Here’s another English country dance tune from Playford’s 1650 The Dancing Master. Like so many Playford tunes , this sounds to me a lot like chamber music. It sounds great solo, and for you multitrackers, there’s all kinds of harmonies and counter melodies waiting to be explored.
Here it is by Bare Necessities, the seminal American band that has spread the gospel of English country dance music.
A slower fiddle version here.
Note: I've been told these two videos are not accessible in Europe. Sorry, I have no way of testing international restrictions before posting. If it helps, here's the link to the tune's ABC page, where you can hear a primitive midi version.
Wow, this is a really simple, catchy tune that really gets around.
I always thought Redwing was a traditional tune, but it turns out it was written as a song by the early TIn Pan Alley composer Kerry Mills - who also wrote Whistling Rufus - with lyrics by Thurland Chattaway.
Here is what the song sounded like originally, complete with lyrics, a now-rarely-heard bridge section and, for good measure, a chorus of tweeting birds.
But the basic tune has also been incorporated into popular, Western swing, bluegrass and country music, among other genres. A once popular square dance was written to go with the tune.
A Bluegrassy version here with some mighty nice flatpicked guitar.
By guitarist Chet Atkins.
A Ragtimey version from - of all places - the Lawrence Welk show.
And of course Spike Jones had a go at massacring the tune.
I’m not sure what you’d call this: early rock? Surf guitar?
It's also a staple of American contra and square dance music, and not always in a traditional way. Here it is played for enthusiastic dancers by the great band Giant Robot Dance, one time thru, and then the video cuts to something a little less Tin Pan Alleyish.
A more sedate dance version here.
And it's a staple of polka bands. Here it is on honking big chemnitzers.
Lest we forget, Woody Guthrie added his own words and turned Redwing into an anthem for the labor movement. Here's the late Pete Seeger’s version.
There you have it: the October TOTM poll. As I said: vote! It's your participation that makes the TOTM work.
Edited by Jim Besser, 23 September 2015 - 05:43 PM.