Monthly Archives: January 2017

Skrap-Ollas Polska




I begin with apologies. It’s been a while since I last posted a tune – Christmas and work and a strained hand have driven a coach and horses through my blog schedule.

But though it’s a freezing January in the Northern hemisphere, here’s something to raise our heads, lighten our steps and give thanks for the glimmerings of longer days. Glorious Swedish duo Marin/Marin play Skrap-Ollas Polska on fiddle and viola – both 5-string instruments, in standard tuning CGDAE, (viola an octave lower).

I include two videos: the first shot at a festival with Swedish dancers; the second, a closer stage performance where some of the fingering is visible and the interplay/improvisation is right up front.

Keep warm, everyone – and enjoy!



Mia Marin (5-string fiddle), Mikael Marin (5-string viola)

With dancers Petra Eriksson and Anton Schneider, at the Korrö Festival, 2014. (The video starts mid-tune, comes round to the beginning again at 0:22.)


(‘Marin/Marin – Skrap-Ollas Polska’, YouTube video, 3:39. Published by BornLonesome, 2 Aug 2014.



Performance at Studio 55 Marin, San Rafael, California in 2013.


(‘Marin/Marin (Mikael & Mia Marin) perform a Swedish Polska at Studio 55 Marin), YouTube video, 4:34. Published by Studio55Marin, 10 Dec 2013.


Marin/Marin: see Mia’s website

Mia Marin:  Facebook

Mikael Marin:  Facebook

Korro Festival:  website


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Filed under Nordic traditional, Scandinavian folk, Swedish traditional, Uncategorized

Jolly Old Hawk


A heartfelt but short post today (a strained hand means I can’t type much at the moment). And unusually for Fiddletails, it’s a song, brief but beautiful – an old ‘twelve days’ counting song from iconic Yorkshire group The Watersons, to welcome in the ‘twelfthmost day’ on Epiphany, Twelfth Night.

Jolly Old Hawk is a Roud ballad; for possible origins and links to lyrics, see Mainly Norfolk, and the usual fascinating debate on mudcat.

Wishing you all a year of hope, health, happiness – and plenty of whatever music lights your life!

The Watersons

Norma Waterson, Elaine (‘Lal’) Waterson, Mike Waterson, John Harrison

From their 1965 first album, Frost and Fire.

(‘The Watersons – Jolly Old Hawk’, YouTube video, 1:09. Uploaded by SirD4venport on 14 Nov 2011.

For more singing and background to The Watersons, watch the BBC’s wonderful 1960s documentary, here



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Filed under English folk/traditional, Uncategorized