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Jim Besser

Poll: Tune Of The Month For July, 2015

Poll: TOTM July 2015  

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For me, July and August, when real life slows down, has always been a great time to learn new tunes. Here are a few possibilities for the July Tune of the Month; I hope there's one that will help make your summer more enjoyable.

English: Bending the Ferret

How about a fun English jig? At least I think it's English; I know it's played at some English tunes sessions.

We played Bending the Ferret, written by Doug Eunson, at a jam at the Midwest Morris Ale in Chicago last month, and everybody really enjoyed it. It’s easy, and has a great bounce to it.

Here’s our own Robin Harrison playing it on a gorgeous Dipper Anglo.
And here it is is played for Cold Barn Morris by the gent I learned it from, accordionist Tom Elmer (and the amazing Jeff Burke on bassoon.)

Swedish: Karis Pers Polska

I don’t know much Scandinavian music, but I’ve had occasion to play this cheerful polska for dancers doing the hambo, and always found it lots of fun.

 

Here it is as played for dancers doing a hambo.

And here, without dancers.

One more, with two accordions and drums.

Klezmer: Shloymele, Malkele

Well, maybe not klezmer, technically, but close - a nice little song from the Yiddish stage. More specifically, from the musical Dos Galitsiyaner Rebele (The Little Galician Rabbi), written by Joseph Rumshinsky (music) and Isadore Lillian (lyrics).

One of few instrumental versions I found has a strong Klezmer flavor.
And what about this version - starting with the left hand on a button accordion, right on a piano keyboard. Later on, he comes to his senses and plays a very nice version with just a single instrument.

YouTube has many sung versions; here are just a few:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKzAx5fL4y8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v47H3nJshZc&list=PLSsdzb9Ga8JW4YEFBkv0uwa03l3pBt_Xd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgLj3o7L7ds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4352SxndUo

 

It makes for a lovely and easy to play waltz!

 

American: American Patrol

A tune popularized by swing band icon Glenn Miller, American Patrol was actually written in 1885 as a march by F.W. Meacham.

Oddly enough, I’ve played it for English ceilidh dances. Go figure.

Here’s the classic Miller version, with a heavy dose of swing.

Here's a classic version that may be the closest to the original, with Columbia, Gem of the Ocean and Dixie thrown in for good measure
How about a classical version, played by the Detroit Symphony?

On a player piano roll (!)

And on two accordions.
Finally a really cool all-sax version.

 

An odd choice for concertinists? Maybe, but take it from me, it's a fun tune!

 

That's it for July. As always, your suggestions for TOTM candidates are really appreciated; PM me or post in the thread.

Edited by Jim Besser

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You're making voting a hard thing once again, Jim - would be content with anyone of these...

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You're making voting a hard thing once again, Jim - would be content with anyone of these...

 

Glad you like them!

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Bending the Ferret reminds me of Constant Billy!

 

Chris

 

I do hear a similarity.

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American: American Patrol

 

Oddly enough, I’ve played it for English ceilidh dances. Go figure.

 

 

Guilty as charged - it works really well either on its own, or with many of the English single reels like Harpers Frolic, Galopede, Waterloo Dance etc.

 

It's one of those tunes that you can put into a dance set that people recognise and get pleasure out of that moment of recognition, whilst working perfectly well as a dance tune in its own right so there's no disruption to the flow of the dance (unless you choose to give it some beans on the stabs near the end of the B part of course).

 

Great session tune as well.

 

I'm also told that it sits nicely on the m*****eon by those of that persuasion, which would also help to explain its adoption.

 

[Edit: rogue grocer's apostrophe removed from its. I am so, so very sorry; I have let the forum down, I have let the concertina down, and I have let myself down.]

Edited by Steve Mansfield

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I'm also told that it sits nicely on the m*****eon by those of that persuasion, which would also help to explain its adoption.

 

Oh, it has really come to that - and I recognize that my own hesitation with informing the community of my recent acquisition of a lovely super-mini Preciosa m*****eon hadn't been needless at all... :o

 

Might however give the tune mentioned a try on both instruments...

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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...Bending the Ferret, written by Doug Eunson....

I'm a bit curious about the origin of the name here, since I've heard the concertina referred to as a/the "leather ferret", but I haven't heard or seen that name applied to other squeezeboxes. I see from Doug's Facebook page that he plays melodeon, but does he also play concertina?

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Swedish: Karis Pers Polska

 

Here it is as played for dancers doing a hambo.

And here, without dancers.

One more, with two accordions and drums.d.

 

Three versions of a Swedish tune, one from Switzerland, one from New Jersey, and one from Sweden. Not surprising, though, as this is one of the two tunes that were almost exclusively used for the hambo through my more than 25 years of international folk and contra dancing in the US. International FD in those earlier years relied almost exclusively on records, and I might guess those were two sides of the only "hambo" record widely available... in the US, anyway. For that matter, most dances on the international FD scene were paired with specific recordings, and folks like me only gradually came to realize that many of the tunes and dances were generic and could be mixed and matched, like polkas or waltzes.

 

And since contra dances generally had only one hambo, if any, in an evening, there wasn't much pressure to learn new tunes for it. I think it wasn't until some folks started getting into Swedish music and dance for their own sake that I started hearing a variety of hambo/polska tunes or seeing a more generic polska being danced.

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Swedish: Karis Pers Polska

 

Here it is as played for dancers doing a hambo.

And here, without dancers.

One more, with two accordions and drums.d.

 

Three versions of a Swedish tune, one from Switzerland, one from New Jersey, and one from Sweden. Not surprising, though, as this is one of the two tunes that were almost exclusively used for the hambo through my more than 25 years of international folk and contra dancing in the US. International FD in those earlier years relied almost exclusively on records, and I might guess those were two sides of the only "hambo" record widely available... in the US, anyway. For that matter, most dances on the international FD scene were paired with specific recordings, and folks like me only gradually came to realize that many of the tunes and dances were generic and could be mixed and matched, like polkas or waltzes.

 

And since contra dances generally had only one hambo, if any, in an evening, there wasn't much pressure to learn new tunes for it. I think it wasn't until some folks started getting into Swedish music and dance for their own sake that I started hearing a variety of hambo/polska tunes or seeing a more generic polska being danced.

 

 

In my experience playing for contra dancing, this and Trollspolska are pretty much the only tunes regularly played for hambos, probably because they are more accessible to players not really familiar with Scandinavian dance music.

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Klezmer: Shloymele, Malkele

 

One of few instrumental versions I found has a strong Klezmer flavor.

And what about this version - starting with the left hand on a button accordion, right on a piano keyboard. Later on, he comes to his senses and plays a very nice version with just a single instrument.

 

That second link gave me a "Not found" error. Here's a corrected link.

 

The first and third of the above links, I got a "not available" message. Maybe not outside the US?

 

It makes for a lovely and easy to play waltz!.

That it does.

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Klezmer: Shloymele, Malkele

 

One of few instrumental versions I found has a strong Klezmer flavor.

And what about this version - starting with the left hand on a button accordion, right on a piano keyboard. Later on, he comes to his senses and plays a very nice version with just a single instrument.

 

That second link gave me a "Not found" error. Here's a corrected link.

 

 

 

Thanks, Jim. The first and third links work fine here. I don't know what to do about geographical differences in YouTube accessibility.

 

The other link did not work; thanks for your correction.

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American: American Patrol

 

A tune popularized by swing band icon Glenn Miller, American Patrol was actually written in 1885 as a march by F.W. Meacham.

Oddly enough, I’ve played it for English ceilidh dances. Go figure.

 

Shouldn't be a surprise. Many dances, especially squares and contras are done with a walking step, and a march is, after all, walking. I'm a bit surprised, though, that the military bands I hear on old 78s (the one you linked, and a virtually identical one by John Philip Sousa's band) seem to play it at a speed that I think is more appropriate for a trot than a march.

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[Edit: rogue grocer's apostrophe removed from its. I am so, so very sorry; I have let the forum down, I have let the concertina down, and I have let myself down.]

 

 

 

Sounds like a good tune name: The Grocer's Apostrophe. Or better yet, a band name.

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I recognize that my own hesitation with informing the community of my recent acquisition of a lovely super-mini Preciosa m*****eon hadn't been needless at all... :o

 

 

A Preciosa? I'm insanely jealous but don't tell my Liliput!

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I recognize that my own hesitation with informing the community of my recent acquisition of a lovely super-mini Preciosa m*****eon hadn't been needless at all... :o

 

 

A Preciosa? I'm insanely jealous but don't tell my Liliput!

 

Of course not, and what's even more important I won't mention it to my Preciosa who might otherwise be sneaking you to her relative... :)

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10 votes so far.

If yours isn't one of them, do you have a preference?

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10 votes so far.

 

If yours isn't one of them, do you have a preference?

Up to 16 now and I suspect we have a winner already - unless there's a late surge!

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