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Songs About Concertinas


JimLucas
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In a far-off Topic, in a far-off Forum, Joachim asked

Do you know any song speaking about the Concertina Player..?

To which Samantha replied:

Why My Concertina Sings, which is in the Tune-o-Tron.
That's a song she translated from the Russian, and originally about a bayan player (a bayan is a kind of Russian accordion), but she plays anglo while she sings it, and as the translator she's allowed her poetic license.

 

Then there's "Fiddler's Green", with the line that goes

..."I'll play me old squeezebox as we sail along".

It doesn't specify what kind of "squeezebox", but I first heard it from Louis Killen, accompanying himself on the English, and I've been told that its composer is an anglo player.

 

There's an old (© 1939, E. DeLazarro/H. Adamson) song titled "Ferryboat Serenade", which mentions "...the man who played the concertina...". I have it on the CD Angels In Daring by Kallet, Epstein and Cicone, but I think it was originally recorded by the Andrews Sisters.

 

Then there's a contemporary "folk" song, the name and author of which I can't remember right now, with the first verse...

If the fiddle string felt no bow stroke,

If the concertina bellows broke,

If no one sang or cracked a joke,

The what's the good in living?

And there are lines about a concertina in the humorous Irish song "Invitation to a Funeral".

 

I seem to recall a song on one of the Chemnitzer websites about getting a concertina for Christmas.

 

Sorry I can't provide music for any of these immediately.

 

Any additions would be welcome... but that's why I started this new Topic. :)

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Not a concertina, but close

 

PLEASANT AND DELIGHTFUL

 

It was pleasant and delightful one midsummer's morn

When the fields and the meadows were all covered in corn

And the blackbirds and thrushes sang on every green spray

And the sharks they played melodeons at the dawning of the day

And the sharks they played melodeons

And the sharks they played melodeons

And the sharks they played melodeons at the dawning of the day

 

;)

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The original text to "Why my Concertina Sings (the Old Maple Tree)" can be found at Пахмутова.

The site also has serveral realplayer files of the song. They are quite pretty.

Patrick

ps just for reference, the song is not about a Bayan player. In the text, the word гармонь (garmon') is the colloquial form of гармоника (garmonika or harmonika) meaning accordion. So the original song is about a piano accordionist, not a Bayan player (a Bayan is a CBA.)

 

edited to change the message from a request for the original text, to what I found when looking it.

Edited by Patrick Brown
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ps just for reference, the song is not about a Bayan player. In the text, the word гармонь (garmon') is the colloquial form of гармоника (garmonika or harmonika) meaning accordion.

My mistake. Maybe I remembered incorrectly what Samantha told me. Or maybe her source sang баян (bayan)?

 

In any case, the original probably wasn't a concertina... but "concertina" is still what I'll sing. :)

 

Do you think we should also try to convert/steal the song Одинокая бродит гармонь ("the lone accordion is strolling/wandering" or "the accordion strolls alone")?

 

(As for what is or isn't a гармонь or a баян, that has been the subject of several long debates on rec.music.makers.squeezebox, and as far as I can tell both words cover as many variations as "concertina", depending on who you talk to. My little Russian dictionary says "баян" means "storyteller". So I guess sometimes I'm a bayan with a concertina. :))

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David Cornell (Maccann player) has written some hilarious songs that feature concertinas (as opposed to mentioning them in passing) which he trots out for us at the Squeeze-In each year. His lyrics, cantare profundo, expressions, and lush playing style makes for an incredible experience.

 

I can't seem to Google any of them up. Perhaps he can be persuaded to post some mp3's?

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My mistake. Maybe I remembered incorrectly what Samantha told me. Or maybe her source sang баян (bayan)?

no worries. The song isn't that old. The lyrics are by the poet Matusovsky, whom I hadn't heard of before. He died in 1990. The song itself is from a 1960 movie called "Girl (Девчата)."

As for what I know about the difference between a garmonika and a bayan, I only know what one of my Russian professors said. The way she worded it, it seemed pretty definitive. If I'm wrong, sorry. But the text does say, garmon'.

 

I just looked up bayan on a online russian-russian dictionary. It said that bayan is 1) a large "garmonika" with a complex system,

2) a Poet, bard, storyteller

the second version isn't very common, the word for narrator is more common, rasskazchik or рассказчик.

 

by the way, I think its awesome that this forum system lets people write in cyrillic so easily. I still haven't figured out how to do it in my email program.

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I've heard 2 songs. Dick Miles used to sing one, the refrain of which went "while fingering the buttons and squeezing the box of my little concertina". If memory serves me right thaat was written by Jim Garrett (sp?) of Essex and appeared in his book "Jim's Yolk Songs". It's also on one of Dick's lps.

 

I also heard a song once called "Concertina Zombies", Can't remember who performed it, they were the support act for us once at Springfield MA some years back, but it was a good song.

 

Chris

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We could always hijack a few tunes...

 

- While my concertina gently weeps...

- I Took my concertina to a party but they wouldn't let me play

The Old Orange Concertina? (flute) Oops! Culture shock.

Maybe My Concertina Is My Sweetheart? (fiddle)

Or The Fellow That PLayed the Concertina? (In the original it's trombone. With the line, "He pulled his long thing in and out," we should make it an anglo.)

 

Well, tunes aren't songs, but how about some of the following alterations?

.. Con the Concertina Player's Ball (fluter)

.. The Ace & Deuce of Concertinaing (piping)

.. The Quarrelsome Concertina Player (piper)

.. Hardiman the Concertina Player (fiddler)

.. The Concertina Players Despair (piper)

 

The there are a couple of real ones:

.. The Concertina Reel and

.. The Old Concertina Reel

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Australian song "Brisbane Ladies" mentions

..."and dance to the old concertina of Jack Smith, the Don"

 

Australian poet Henry Lawson in 1891 wrote "The Good Old Concertina", set to music by Bob Bolton and published in Concertina Magazine #16, page 6 (1986)

 

Australian bush band Wongawilli recorded a song called (I think) 'Play Us a Song on the Old Concertina".

 

There are (at least) two New Zealand songs about a swagman by the name of Concertina Joe, a real life character who, as one song says "....shore in New Zealand, Australia and in the Argentine...", so maybe his concertina was in fact a bandoneon???

 

And I vaguely remember Martin Carthy singing a song about a concertina being "...kicked about till the bellows burst..." :o

(Hopefully not a Jeffries!!!)

 

Regards

Malcolm Clapp

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I was at a session at last year's Cheltenham Folk Festival and someone with a piano accordian did a version of that song that goes "little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-takcy......" only this version waxed of "little boxes made of ticky-tacky and they all sound JUST THE SAME!"

 

The whole song was very funny - maybe it's well known to you folks on here but I'd not heard it before or since.

 

Cheers

 

Denis

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[snip] ...In the text, the word гармонь (garmon') is the colloquial form of гармоника (garmonika or harmonika) meaning accordion. So the original song is about a piano accordionist, not a Bayan player (a Bayan is a CBA.) ...[snip]

In my Oxford Russian dictionary, "гармонь" (garmon') is translated as "accordion, concertina", neither of which are particularly Russian instruments. Along with the rest of the world, Russia developed a myriad of bellows driven free reed instruments through the nineteenth century, many of which are more closely related to the melodeon than to the piano accordion. In my experience "гармонь" refers to any or all of these, and the diminutive, "гармошка" (garmoshka) is the Russian equivalent of "squeezebox".

Samantha

PS Sorry, didn't realise this had been gone into by Jim and others earlier in the thread. Yes, the original that I translated was about a "гармонист" (garmonist).

(edited to add the PS).

Edited by Samantha
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