‘The Girl With the Blue Dress On’ is a chirpy polka that turns up in English and American traditions as a ceilidh tune, contra tune and as a North-West Morris tune.
There is a simplified version here, and a more decorated version written out in full with the ‘tumbles’ (embellishments at the end of phrases that connect up the different sections) and the alternative chord sequence here.
Welcome back! Here’s the New Rigged Ship no. 1 in D major. I have found this tune in several sources, the earliest of which is an 1800 edition of Thomas Hardy’s manuscript (from Dorset), it also pops up in an 1853 Scottish book ‘Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book no.2’ and there’s an 1908 version collected in Derbyshire titled ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Get Warm’. There are both reels and jigs from the Shetland Isles called ‘Da New Rigged Ship’ or the ‘Da Full Rigged Ship’, however these do not seem to be related!
The warm ups and drills we started with are on a new page that you can find on the top menu – the main thing to note is that this tune contains lots of 3rds (that is to say a small jump of three notes), for instance in the D to F#s in the first two bars of the A section, and in bars 9 and 11 of the B section. This is a really handy interval to listen out for – think ‘cuckoo!’ – and it gives us lots of scope for variation!
We started by filling some of these 3rds in with the ‘missing’ notes (see HERE for a written variation).
We then took a load of notes out to create more space, before adding some slightly different patterns back in (see HERE for the written variation).
Please note that these variations are designed as a starting point, recapping some of the ideas we covered in class, and are not supposed to be a perfect examples although I have tried to make them at least reasonably musical! Other possibilities for melodic variation could include playing down the octave, or varying the order of the notes in repetitive sections, for instance in bars 3 and 4 of the A section.
This is most likely La Marianne, though I have always known it as Madelaine, possibly a fancier version, or a mishearing, but anyway – here it is! PDF here, and video and dots below.
Here are the dots, PDF and video for the Dark Girl Dressed in Blue, also known as The Duchess (at least to me and Kerry Fletcher, can’t find it listed as this anywhere else!) and as Over the Waterfall in Old Time circles, albeit with the A and B sections reversed. There appears to be a song version of the tune dating back to about 1850, with lyrics by music hall star Harry Clifton (1824-1872), though recordings I can find are to a slightly different though seemingly related tune.
Here are the video, dots and PDF of the Holborn March, which was published in ‘Wright’s Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances’ in 1740.
Here’s the faster, frillier version:
Here’s Soldier’s Joy, video from Laurel, basic dots from me! PDF here.
Here’s the video and dots for Bagpipers. PDF here.
This is a jaunty polka by Devonshire fiddler Fred Pidgeon (yes, I know I’ve spelled his name differently in the title, but this is now the tune and his surname are normally written respectively). I’ve kept the chords simple to bring out the cheerful, bouncy character, though you could substitute a few Em or maybe some C chords in instead of some of the G majors – have an experiment! Stephen suggested using a G maj7 in place of the D chords in the first two bars – I like this, but try also replacing the D chords in the fourth and seventh bars with a D6 chords to fit with the slightly dreamy feel that this creates. We found that the harmony in the B part also fits the tune of the A part, so there are lots of possibilities!
Here are the dots (tune with chords, tune with suggested phrasing and ornaments, and harmony) with a PDF available here..
Wednesday Night is a fabulous 16 bar tune recorded as a ‘Country Dance’, and it exists in both the English and Welsh traditions (as Nôs Fercher in Welsh). The earliest record of it I can find is in a collection by William Clark of Lincoln published in 1770, though it seems to turn up in a few different collections at around that time. Here’s the tune, harmony, bass line and chords – I’ve not written out a separate chord chart due to the way the chords fit with the rhythm of the tune. I’ve also added a version with suggested phrasing and ornaments.
This is an English jig that I know from various sessions, I think I originally learned it from fantastic box player Barry Goodman. Here it is as a PDF, the tune and chords. I suggest that we play this in a set after Moll of the Wod. The harmony for the A part is listed under the tune