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Northeast Squeeze-in Notes


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I'm no way near ready to hold my own at the speed of most of the jams that were occurring all over. But every now and then I'd hear a tune and whip out my instrument and make a valient effort.

The way I see, it, 'fast' playing, that traditional type of mainly Irish tunes, etc., is kind of a world in and of itself, a genre, and the more you do of it the more you probably CAN do of it. (I don't think that I could play it only on rare occasions.)

 

But, I see that it's probably not what I'll fall into. I like to hear it and and listen to it, but, for one thing, I'm a rather solitary type of person -- I enjoy groups when I go find them, but I am just not going to drag myself out to regular sessions! Just ain't gonna be. And, though I have practiced and learned a few fast tunes, for me it would only be for social playing that I would pursue them...not what I just personally like to play for fun.

 

Though there's no real call for it by any sociable concertina group that I've heard of, I've enjoyed learning 'art' and 'folk' songs written by the old Classical types, Brahms, Beethoven, Schumann, etc.. I am NOT particularly classically trained, nor do I think there is more merit in these songs over some other type. Sometimes, I can't even stand classical music, in fact! But, for one thing, the classical-folksy stuff that has lyrics tends to be simple, do-able, not grand or ominous like something arranged for a huge orchestra.

 

I've been looking over various 'songs for high voice,' and their piano-accompaniment arrangements, arranged to work well with the singer, can usually be adapted well to the concertina. Once I've struggled through the music several times and added my own improvisations, I find that these are the songs that make me pick up my concertina and play and sing.

 

But...of course, it's unlikely that these songs would ever become material for a pub sing-along. So, I simply must learn a handful of some of those pub songs. Lyrics!!! Need words!!! If the singer presenting the song can go over the tune a few times, and I have a printed copy of the words to look at simultaneously, then I can usually grab the tune. The lyrics help me remember the tune.

 

I know that oral/verbal transmission of great songs is often viewed as being more 'right,' maybe more authentic or romantic, but....well, some of us (maybe a lot of us) just don't have that resource, these days!

 

(Funny, though....'Side By Side,' the song from the 'Dancing With Ma Baby' book which our one little group performed at the Squeeze-In, is one of the two or three songs that I first learned as a kid, passed on to me by verbal transmission, from my (maternal) grandmother. I'd never even heard it for years....then, there it was again. She died rather young, so it was nice to revive this memory of her, since I don't have very many of them!)

 

Quoted from Allison's post: The pub sing was great fun- some of the songs got rather salacious, so I had fun countering from the women's point of view ("The Chocolate song"). (Wendy, I'll be glad to share you some tips on "how to join in on the chorus"- it's much like "how to play by ear" without the circle of fifths!)

Okay...tips welcome....and, hmm, maybe some on 'How To Be Salacious Without Being Misogynistic?' I mean, really, the one about the captain tying up his poor wife to the bow of the ship or whatever that was! (See, I was so shocked, I can't remember it!)

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Wendy,

I have a great song you might approve of. Here are the lyrics. I didn't sing it at the squeeze-in because I'm still trying to learn it all by heart and as I've often been told "If you sing acapella and forget the words - you don't have much left!"

 

STITCH IN TIME

 

Oh there was a woman and she lived on her own,

She slaved on her own and she skivvied on her own,

She'd two little girls and two little boys --

And she lived all alone with her husband.

 

For her husband he was a hunk of a man

A chunk of a man and a drunk of a man,

He was a hunk of a drunk and a skunk of a man

Such a boozing, bruising husband.

 

For he would come home drunk each night,

He thrashed her black, he thrashed her white;

He thrashed her, too, within an inch of her life,

Then he slept like a log, did her husband.

 

One night she gathered her tears all round her shame

She thought of the bruising and cried with the pain,

Oh, you'll not do that ever again,

I won't live with a drunken husband.

 

But as he lay and snored in bed,

A strange old thought came into her head,

She went for the needle, went for the thread,

And went straight in to her sleeping husband.

 

And she started to stitch with a girlish thrill

With a woman's heart and a seamstress' skill,

She bibbed and tucked with an iron will,

All around her sleeping husband.

 

Oh, the top sheet, the bottom sheet, too,

The blanket stitched to the mattress through,

She stitched and stitched for the whole night through

Then she waited for the dawn and her husband.

 

And when her husband woke with a pain in his head,

He found that he could not move in bed,

Sweet Christ, I've lost the use of me legs!

But this wife just smiled at her husband.

 

For in her hand she held the frying pan

With a flutter in her heart she given him a lam;

He could not move but he cried, ``God damn!''

``Don't you swear,'' she cried to her husband.

 

Then she thrashed him black, she thrashed him blue,

With the frying pan and the colander too,

With the rolling pin just a stroke or two

Such a battered and bleeding husband.

 

She said, ``If you ever come home drunk any more,

I'll stitch you in, I'll thrash you more,

Then I'll pack my bag and I'll be out the door,

I'll not live with a drunken husband.''

 

So isn't it true what small can do

With a thread and a thought and a stitch or two?

He's wiped his slate and his boozing's through

It's goodbye to a drunken husband.

 

:blink:

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Wendy,

I have a great song you might approve of. Here are the lyrics.

:D HA! Love it! (Don't send that lady to my Crocheter's Anonymous group, though, okay? Thanks....)

 

That one I'll definitely hang onto!

 

Fortunately for my husband (who tolerates my YAS -- that's 'Yarn Acquisition Syndrome'), he quit drinking years ago and has remained sober. About the worst I've done for him is to crochet hats he must wear (he says he likes them).

 

:)

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If we could put a

small tour of gigs together , just enough to cover out costs , we'd love to play the USA. Can anybody help?

I've got to get offline in a sec, but here's a quick note just to mention that if you do come play over here sometime, maybe you'd have an interest in Arts Worcester or WAG (Worcester Artists Group). Yes, they do art, but also music.

 

I am a member of Arts Worcester but I'm not really familar, yet -- I joined mostly to have something in common with my husband, who does more there. Anyway, if you check their website, you'll see that there's a Jazz concert in October. Site is: http://www.artsworcester.org

 

or, http://www.artsworcester.org/Calendar

 

As for WAG, there's a bit about them at:

http://www.socialweb.net/Places/2678.lasso

 

They actually do quite a bit of musical stuff.

 

And, ahem, since there's a link included there re the Jacob Knight Award -- I must mention that my husband is this year's winner!

 

Anyway, there are certainly a lot of talented people to be found at either of those places.

 

Me, I may do more with Arts Worcester...don't know....I did have two pieces exhibited (crochet art) but I'm really not much of an artist. One of these days, maybe I'll sing and play at a WAG concert, if I manage to get to one!

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If we could put a small tour of gigs together, just enough to cover out costs, we'd love to play the USA. Can anybody help?

We at the Button Box can give some thouth mostly it's small stuff though like a local concert (ideally with workshop and potluck) at an area hall. You can also get help from area musicians to set up an itinerary covering this part of New England for a number of venues. There're also places like The Iron Horse in Northampton MA and Passim's in Cambridge MA.

 

On another note.... Did you make it to the Sunday session at the People's Pint in Greenfield after the Squeeze-In? What was that like for you? We're you able to get another session in in Boston before you had to leave?

 

I really enjoyed meeting and playing with you at the NESI. I really wish I could have had more time to get to know you (and so many others!) better. Unfortunately, that's actually a work weekend for us so I'm not able to do many workshops or hang out as much as I'd like to.

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Hi gang,

Yes, the Squeeze-in was great as usual!

 

I enjoyed meeting & playing tunes with all you concertina fanatics.

Britt

Hi Britt! Did you sell your accordion? If I weren't broke I would have bought it. Never enough instruments, I say.

 

Not exactly. Mon amie Danielle took the box up to Quebec City with her where hopefully she will sell it for me, as our neighbors to the north appreciate that old Hohner sound, n'est-ce pas? Speaking of Canadians, hey Robin: thanks for posting all those great photos. My recording of the first half of the talent show turned out really well. How was the 2nd half? Maybe between us we have it all. Didja get a chance to listen to the CD of your "performance" in New Jersey?

Britt

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Your song Robin reminds me of a couple I drove past in Reading. As I went by the man was shouting and hitting his wife . I jumped out of the car and started shouting and swearing at him to behave.His wife replied " Dont you talk to my husband like that"!

I am confused,perhaps your song may sort it all out.

Al

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Your song Robin reminds me of a couple I drove past in Reading. As I went by the man was shouting and hitting his wife . I jumped out of the car and started shouting and swearing at him to behave.His wife replied " Dont you talk to my husband like that"!

I am confused,perhaps your song may sort it all out.

Al

Some years ago I was on the beach at Blackpool when I saw a man and a woman with a baby, having an arguement. The baby was thrown to the floor and the man hit the woman with a stick. A policeman intervened and the man hit him with the stick.

 

 

 

 

then....................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crocodile ate all the sausages!

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Speaking of songs, we all enjoyed "Sammy's Bar-Mitzvah" but setting the record straight (not to pick on its composer, he did a great job) he mistranslated part of the Yiddish. The word "pekl" does NOT mean pickle. It means package or bundle. So it really makes more sense in the refrain: Troubles 5 for a schekel; Yeden mensch hot zien pekl (every man has his bundle).

 

:rolleyes: Britt

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Hi Britt,

Glad you could make it :)

Me too, and I'll say again that I really enjoyed hearing the duet you played with...um, Deirdre, was that her name? I don't always remember names, but, I do remember how nice your performance was.

 

And, in other, unrelated news (but, still a 'Squeeze-In' note) --

 

Just by luck, or providence, I happened to sit next to a gentleman who, upon noticing my many 'mummified' (bandaid-ed) fingers, told me he had psoriasis on his hands and uses something like 'liquid bandaid.' I'd never heard of that, surprisingly.

 

Anyway, since I have posted before on the topic of my fingers and how painful and annoying the dry, splitting skin can be, I just want to say, THAT STUFF REALLY WORKS!!! :)

 

My husband bought two brands for me to try, and I'm trying something called 'Skin Shield.' What a difference! Beyond just protecting the skin from abrasion and impact, it seems to kind of seal and smooth over the rough edges of torn skin that would otherwise peel or hurt.

 

So, I sat in the lucky chair, that night at dinner....so glad to find out about this stuff.

 

Edited to fix a typo. (There's probably more, but...oh well, caught one of 'em.)

Edited by bellowbelle
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Hi Britt,

Glad you could make it :)

Me too, and I'll say again that I really enjoyed hearing the duet you played with...um, Deirdre, was that her name? I don't always remember names, but, I do remember how nice your performance was.

--------------

Anyway, since I have posted before on the topic of my fingers and how painful and annoying the dry, splitting skin can be, I just want to say, THAT STUFF REALLY WORKS!!! :)

 

My husband bought two brands for me to try, and I'm trying something called 'Skin Shield.' What a difference!

Wendy,

Thanks for your kind words, I'll pass them along to Deirdre as well. It was nice meeting you, too, (funny our daughters attend the same school) and I'm glad to connect with this online community.

Slightly off-topic--

I'll try your tips as I suffer from cracked, dry skin on my hands from time to time, too. It hasn't hampered playing music but it gets to the point where it is painful to wash my hands. I get so desperate in winter, that I have had to wear gloves to bed (have you?). Maybe this "Skin Shield" will substitute.

Thanks,

Britt

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I get so desperate in winter, that I have had to wear gloves to bed (have you?). Maybe this "Skin Shield" will substitute.

Well! Glad I mentioned it, then...I was wondering if I'd been a bit crass to include 'icky skin notes' in my former post, but, at the time I'd been just thinking of any/all NESI notes I wanted to cover!

 

Yes, I have even tried various treatments using plastic gloves or wraps, over oils and whatever. No real results, though.

 

I've worn gloves to do my crocheting, dog-walking, housework, etc.. But, this liquid sealer stuff will make a big difference, I think, and life will be so much better...and, I've noticed today that it stays on, even through a bit of contact with water.

 

Life is so hard when you can't count on your hands. Especially when you play an instrument!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello All!

It was great to finally see what the NE Squeeze-In was all about! I really enjoyed myself listening to all you people playing accordions and concertinas. Now, back home in Toronto with my shiny new black Albion concertina, I'm trying to make my way through "The Fireship" (sang by Stan Hugill in the version I have) and some other songs and I'm starting to hear some traces of the original melody in my attempts... Takes lot's of swearing, though....

And I'd like to thank you all for your encouragement, the music and great fun!

 

See you all next year!

 

Voi (AKA Kartrait as registered here)

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