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All Time Favorite Tune


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Ref to the post about favorite CDs: Do you have an all time favorite concertina tune? Or maybe there's one tune that you heard that got you fired up about learning concertina in the first place? For me, it was "The Lancer's Jig" (though not the tune usually associated with this title.) I heard an unknown player playing this tune and thought, "Man that's something I need to learn how to do". I ran right out and bought the first 'tina I could find (a 20b Stagi) and went to work starting with that tune. Didn't take long until I was hooked on this odd instrument (and found I couldn't play D tunes on the Stagi) and traded in my Stagi on one of Frank Edgley's instruments.


The version of the Lancer's Jig that I'm playing now I learned from Niall Vallely's playing on Tim O'Brien's recent CD "Two Journeys". I just posted the ABC's to the Tune-O-Tron for anyone who's interested.


So what did it for you? I'd like to learn some more life altering tunes.

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While largely agreeing with steve theer are a few tunes that stand out even when I'm not playing them. The morris tune 'Oranges in Bloom' is one (closely followed by Valentines), 'A shropshire lass' is another. Oh, and redwing is always great fun to play.


I started off by dancing with the 'Shropshire Bedlams' a UK morris team headed up by John Kirkpatrick, so was obviously greatly inspired by that (although I didn't really appreciate how good he was in those days). The first tune I ever learn't (actually on a melodeon) was the Morris tune 'Princess Royal' which still remains a favourite when I play it (Strangely enough I was picking out it on a Bass Guitar just this afternoon).



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Still my favourite tune, and one of the earliest I learnt, is Gallopede. To hear a good English session chase that tune for all its worth, and to be part of it - there's not much better to be had out of living.



I agree. That's a great one on the Hayden, as well. Another one like it (that I first heard played on the Anglo, at different times, by both Tom and Jody Kruskal) is a tune I've heard called "Walter's Polka" or "Walter Bulwer's Polka #4." Here it is: [note, the B section has 2 sharps]



T:Walter's Polka





dcB2g3f|e2A2A2AG|FGAB cdef|1g2g2g2Bc:|2g2g2g4||



a2fga2fg|agf2e4|e2a2g2e2|dcde fefg|

a2fga2fg|agf2e4|e2a2g2e2|1d2dc defg:|2d2c2=c2Bc|]


Edited by David Barnert
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Oh goodness, my all-time favorite tunes change from week to week.


But Orange in Bloom, use for my Morris side's signature dance, is an enduring favorite, transposed to C, since I play solo on a C/G.


Other all-time faves: Mickey Ainsworth, the Redesdale Hornpipe, Forresters Hornpipe and the utterly obscure but charming Woodchoppers Breakdown (not the familiar Woodchoppers Reel).


But I'm a musician of easy virtue; new tunes are constantly winning my undying affection until I hear the next great one.

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This is great! A whole raft of new tunes to work on that are all certified personal concertina favorites.


Another of mine is Rags 'n Tatters AKA Rattigan's, ironically, learned from the same CD I learned Orange in Bloom from: Waterson-Carthy.


Like most everyone else, my current favorite is always the tune I'm currently learning (else why be learning it?), but there are still a few that just seem to "click" the best on concertina, like they were written expressly for it.

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Still my favourite tune, and one of the earliest I learnt, is Gallopede.

I also agree with Gallopede. Lets face it, there are so many good tunes out there (and some not so good) its almost impossible to choose, but the fact that tunes like Gallopede have stood the test of time to become standards must say something about them.



As an off-subject but philosophically related aside: Have you ever been to one of those beer festivals that specialise in rare and obscure beers? Well, having tasted some of those beers you can see why they are rare and obscure!


As a slightly more relavant aside: when morris dancing as a young man (Oh so long ago) we did a Belgian tour arranged by a Belgian accordianist. When asked to play a typical Belgian tune he played, with the exception of a few notes, Gallopede.



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Whoops, guess I neglected to answer the actual question about the FIRST tune that hooked me.


Banish Misfortune, from the classic album. Picked it out on my garage sale 20 button, and was smitten. Oddly, once I got more deeply into the instrument, I never really played it again.


In the all-time fave category, I commend to all of you Larry Unger's The Dancer, a beautiful, eerie waltz that sounds like it was written for the concertina, although it wasn't. When I got my new concertina it didn't have an Eb because of the extra C#s, which made it impossible to play this tune, but Paul Groff, always helpful, fixed that. It's a tune that never fails to make me feel good, even when I don't play it with the skill it deserves.

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The tune that made me think "right, I really need to buckle down and do some serious practise" was "Shiner" by John Kirkpatrick, which is on the "Boxing Clever" record. I think more than anything else, hearing that tune gave me a sense of purpose and something to aim at... but aside from that it's a thing of real beauty.


Like others have said, though, my favourite tunes/songs/pieces are whatever I happen to be learning. :)

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Like others my favourite changes from time to time. however, some tunes have remained constant over the years.


My favourite slow air remains The Lark in the clear Air, closely followed by the dark Island. My favourite hornpipe is The Rights of Man. In other categories, I would include The Rocky Road to Dublin, Springtime in Battersea, and the Hen's March.


I find trying to pin down a single tune an impossible task.


- John Wild

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