October 2021 – Grimstock

Grimstock, or ‘Grimftock’ as the image above would have it, is taken from the first edition of Playford’s ‘Dancing Master’ 1651. A nice little tune to ease us back into face to face sessions.

Here’s a quick run through for reference, beginning with melody only and then adding some chords. As ever the chords given are merely a serving suggestion.

There are plenty of videos of the dance available online including some with some seriously impressive ‘olde English’ costumes – this one’s rather jolly though. Finally, and for other reason than I am a big fan, here’s a version from John Spiers


"G"g2f g2d | "C"e>fg "D"f2d |"G"B>cd "D"e2d | "D"cdB A2"G"G |
"G"g2f g2d | "C"e>fg "D"f2d | B>cd "C"e2d | "D"c>BA "G"G3 |
|: "G"GGA BGA | "Em"BGA "C"BGA |"G"GGA "Em"BGA | "C"BGA "G"G3 :|

As ever, all our tunes are available in a single abc file available for download.

April 2020 – Smash the Windows

Smash the Windows – or Roaring Jelly. The tune of month for our April isolation session. A jolly little jig to keep you busy and away from watching the news too much. As ever the chords shown are merely a serving suggestion.

The April session will be a Zoom meet up – as much a social and a check-in to say ‘hi’ and make sure we’re all doing OK. Stay safe session buddies.

Here’s a slow and steady run through of the tune for learning, and the whole tune a little bit faster.

Smash the Windows

T:Smash the Windows
|A|”D”DED F2A|”D”d2f “Am”ecA|”G”G2B “D”F2A|”Em”E2F “Am”GFE|
“D”DED F2A|”Bm”d2f “Am”ecA|”G”Bgf “Am”edc|”D”d3 d2:|
|f/2g/2|”D”a2f d2f|”D”A2a agf|”Em”g2e c2e|”Am”A2g gfe|
“D”f2d “Am”g2e|”D”a2f “G”bag|”D”fed “Am”edc|”D”d3 d2:|

March 2020 – Waltz for the Valeta

Once again the tune of the month is not the tune that was intended – this one is such a jolly little tune and was so well-received in the Wheaty session recently that its shoved it’s way into the list as ToTM for March.

Waltz for the Valeta, from the playing of East Anglian Melodeon Player Percy Brown.

Here’s Lester Bailey playing the tune on one row melodeon.

For anyone feeling particularly enthusiastic and energetic here’s a walkthrough of the dance steps, although patrons are reminded that there is limited space in the Green Man so please don’t get carried away.

Waltz for the Valeta

 T:Waltz for the Valeta
 S:Percy Brown

As ever, all our tunes are available in a single abc file available for download.

February 2020 – Foul Weather Call

Foul Weather Call – a tune found in the manuscript of the Welch family of Bosham in West Sussex. The manuscript dates from 1800 although it was added to in subsequent years. This might be a predictable choice for February (OK, it is) but this is a lovely tune – and as it’s often heard in sessions up and down the whole year through it’s a great choice for our tunebook

Here’s a lovely version from Owen Woods – the entire album is a gem and well worth checking out if you don’t already have a copy.

Foul Weather Call

T: Foul Weather Call
C: Welch MS
K: D
|: a2 | "Am"gfed e2a2|"Em"gfed "(D)"dc"Am"BA|"D"d2A2"G"BcdB|"Em"g2f2"Am"e4|
"Am"gfed e2a2|"Em"gfed "(D)"dc"Am"BA|"D"d2A2 "G"BcdG|1"Am"F2E2"D"D2:|2"Am"F2E2"D"D4 ||
|:"\Em"GFED "Am (D)"A2A2|"G"Bcde "(D)"dc"Am"BA|"D"d2A2"G"BcdB|"Em"g2f2"Am"e4|
"Am"gfed e2a2|"Em"gfed "(D)"dc"Am"BA|"D"d2A2 "G"BcdG|"Am"F2E2"D"D4:| 

December 2019 – Drive the Cold Winter Away

The latest of our attempts to find a tune that’s appropriately wintry but not so Christmassy that it’ll sound distinctly odd in May, here’s ‘Drive the Cold Winter Away’. An Elizabethan Carol and, under the name ‘When Phoebus Did Rest’ the tune for a Playford dance and now the Ewell Sessions Tune of the Month for December 2019. Wassail!

X: 38
T:Drive The Cold Winter Away
|:E| G>FE B2 e|d>cB g2 G|A2 B c>dc|B3 B2 E|
G>FE B2 c|d>cB g2 G|A2 B c>dc|B3 B2:|
|:e|d>cB d2 d|c>BA c2 c|B>AG F2 E|g3 g2 e|
d>cB d2 d|c>BA c2 c|B>AG F>EF|E3 E2:|

For those so inclined, there’s more about the tune here and just for fun here’s a couple of very different versions from YouTube.

Beautiful vocal harmonies from Coope, Boyes and Simpson

… and a modern interpretation from Stick in the Wheel

As usual, the complete ABC file for all our tunes is available for download

November 2019 – Oscar Woods’ Jig

Image of Oscar Woods
Oscar Woods

Oscar Woods was an East Anglian melodeon player from Benhall Green, near Saxmundham, Suffolk. He was inspired to play melodeon after hearing an old farm worker ‘Tiger’ Smith playing. The two later became playing partners, where Oscar also learned from other players, notably the Seaman family of Darsham.

Oscar Woods’ Jig

 T:Oscar Woods' Jig
 T: (Tiger Smith's Jig)
 BAG BAG|BcB ded|d2 g dBG|A3 G3:|
 B2 d dcB|c2 e edc|B2 d dBG|A3 A3|
 B2 d dcB|c2 e edc|d2 g dBG|A3 G3:|

As usual, the complete ABC file for all our tunes is available for download

October 2019 – The Spirit of the Dance

A tune from the Hook/Hardy manuscript of Dorset tunes – this tune is taken from a manuscript of tunes given to the grandfather of Dorset novelist Thomas Hardy by one James Hook, the manuscript is believed to have originated from Hook’s father – either way there’s certainly some history to this one.
This tune goes well with Wheaty session favourite ‘Paddy Carey’s Jig’ and was popularised by Andy Cutting and Chris Wood – which gives me an excuse to share this gem from the archives.

Maybe we can try both tunes out together in the Wheaty later in the month?

As ever the chords given are merely a suggestion.

Spirit of the Dance

X: 1
T: The Spirit Of The Dance
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
S: No 5 in the Thomas Hardy/James Hook ms, Dorset County Museum
"G"G2D "C"E2D|"G"G2D "C"E2D|"G"GAB "C"c2B|A2 G "D"FED|
"G"G2D "C"E2D|"G"G2D "C"E2D|"G"GAB "C"c2 B|"D"AGF "G"G3:|
|:GAB "C"c3| "G"B3"D"A3| ABc "D"d3| "C"c3 "G"B3|
GAB "C"c3| "G" B3 "D" A3| "D"Bcd "G"BAG| "C"B2 "D"A "G" G3 :|

September 2019 – The Tars of The Victory

A tune I learnt a long time ago but forgot about until recently – this tune came to me via the playing and teaching of Ed Rennie waaaaaaaay back when I first picked up the squeezebox. Ed and I will be teaching absolute beginners melodeon at Towersey which is what brought it back to mind – anyway, ’tis a jolly little tune which seems to fit in well with the Green Man Sessions repertoire.

Let’s get this session season off with a bang, folks.

I will record and upload a melodeon version over the next few days, but in the meantime here it is a Regency dance tune.

The Tars of the Victory

T:Tars of the Victory
d|"D"d^cd d^cd|"G"g2G GAB|"C"ABc "D"DEF|"G"G2B d2d|
"D"d^cd d^cd|g2G GAB|ABc DEF|G3 G2:|
|:g|"C"fed "G"d2c|"G"Bcd G2B|"D"ABc DEF|"G"G2B d2g|
"C"fed "D"d2c|"G"Bcd G2B|"D"ABc DEF|"G"G3G2:|

As ever the master abc file can be downloaded from Dropbox (no login needed) and is updated and re-indexed as each tune is added.

June 2019 – bonus tune – The Black Nag

Published in Playford’s Dancing Master, and commonly used for a dance of the same name this tune was requested by some of our session regulars after it was used as the tune for a solo jig by a certain local morris side.

Here’s a video of the Playford Dance plucked randomly from YouTube.

In contrast here’s what our local morris side, Ewell St. Mary’s Morris Men did with the tune – eagle-eyed session regulars will recognise both dancer and musician.

The Black Nag

T:The Black Nag
B, |\
"Em"E2E "D"F2F | "C"G2G "B"AGA | "Em"BAG "B"FGF | "Em" E3-E2 :|
|: E |\
"Bm"FDB, FDB, | "Bm"FDB, FDB, | "Em"BGE BGE | "Em"BGE BGE |
"Bm"FDB, FDB, | "Bm"FDB, FGA | "Em"BAG "B"FGF | "Em"E3-E2 :|

June 2019 – From Night Till Morn

A tune found in the Welch manuscript (Sussex, 1800) and in William Litten’s copybook manuscript (1800-1802). Although this is something of a session favourite favourite throughout the land it was just ‘one of those tunes’ until the new album from Matt Quinn and Owen Woods landed on the doormat. Their version of the tune is simply stunning – so good in fact that the tune jumped right to the top of the list.

To hear what Matt and Owen do with the tune check out their music on Bandcamp – a real treat for the ears.

From Night ‘Til Morn

T:From Night Till Morn
C:Welch MS
|"D"dc|:"G"B2B2B2G2|"D"AGAB "G"G2AB|"C"cBAG GABc|
"D"d2ec B2A2|"G"B2B2B2G2|"D"AGAB "G"G2AB|"C"cBAG GABc | [1 "D"A4" G"G2 "D"dc]:| [2"D"A4"G"G4]|
|:"G"GABc d2d2|d2e2d4|"C"e2d2g2B2|"D"d2ec B2A2|
"G"B2B2B2G2|"D"AGAB "G"G2AB|"C"cBAG GABc|"D"A4"G"G4:|