Bacca Pipes – also sometimes known as ‘Greensleeves’. A lively jig used for the English jig of the same dance in which clay pipes are laid on the ground for the dancers to dance around and over. A deceptively simple tune, the key to this is the zip and drive you put into it.
To give you an idea of how this is danced, and there are many variants in existence, here’s the Outside Capering Crew dancing at Hastings Jack in the Green Festival, and an Australian take on the tradition from Hedgemonkey Morris.
This month we will be playing ‘Will’s Way’ to add to our steady-speed repertoire. This is a modern English tune written by Will Ward, sometime member of the Oysterband and Fiddler’s Dram. Fidder’s Dram enjoyed something of a smash hit in the ’70s with their record ‘Day Trip to Bangor’ – enjoy the earworm folks.
I’ve had a special request to include my chords with this one for a fellow melodeon player – here they are but, as ever, these chords are merely a serving suggestion. Enjoy learning this one and we’ll see you at the Green Man and play it through together.
Valentine – certainly a Cotswold morris tune but not as is often believed from Fieldtown (Leafield). The tune was actually collected from nearby Ascott-Under-Wychwood. The Ascott-Under-Wychwood morris tradition did not survive the First World War and today the tune is almost universally used for the Fieldtown dance although other variants exist.
Here’s an example – White Rose Morris dance The Valentine.
And and extra bonus – the tune turned into a song from the wonderful Jim Moray’s ‘Low Culture’ album.
December’s tune of the month – as a result of our poll on Facebook we have come up with this one – you guys voted to learn a tune that’s Christmassy but that we can also play at other times of the year – in other words a tune with more mileage that just December.
Personent Hodie – a medieval carol, still used today in both religious and secular settings. Most of you will probably have heard the tune – now it’s time to play it.
This month’s tune is ‘Hunt the Squirrel’, a tune that can be found in early editions of Playford’s ‘The Dancing Master’ and is often credited as originating from Sussex. Here it is played for teaching by the master of melodeon Andy Cutting: hunt the squirrel