The melody from a Dutch/Flemish traditional children’s song about a little boy who creates havoc pretending to be a knight.
Sometimes found in English morris dancing, the tune is played here live by wondrously funky dance band Blowzabella, first up in a set in Am, then transposing to Bm to morph into second tune Go Mauve (at 1:45).
(Image: Manet, Boy with a Sword*)
Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion), Jo Freya (vocals, saxophone, clarinet), Paul James (bagpipes, saxophones), Gregory Jolivet (hurdy-gurdy), Dave Shepherd (violin), Barn Stradling (bass guitar), Jon Swayne (bagpipes, saxophones)
(From Blowzabella’s 2010 live album Dance.)
See Blowzabella: websiteFacebook for 2016 upcoming gigs, band news and recordings
*Metropolitan Museum, New York. Image courtesy of Simon Abrahams and EPPH
An attempt to conjure a golden September from this year’s grey English summer – if we all play it like mad, the sun will come out!
My beautiful namesake tune is from Playford’s Dancing Master of 1651. Two very different arrangements – it is traditionally played with the A and B parts in different time signatures. And (might have guessed!) any tune involving women and fruit had sexual connotations. Who knew…
Andy Cutting (melodeon), Rob Harbron (concertina), Sam Sweeney (fiddle)
The tune is on Leveret’s 2015 CD New Anything, available from their website.
Leveret are touring in the UK in October – starting with a gem of a format: an acoustic set, performed in the round. Cecil Sharp House, 1 October. Details and booking here. Don’t miss it! Full tour dates here (scroll down to Gigs/Autumn Tour 2015).
Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion, triangle), Jo Freya (vocals, clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones, whistle), Paul James (border bagpipes, soprano and alto saxophones, whistle), Gregory Jolivet (alto hurdy-gurdy), Dave Shepherd (violin, octave violin), Barn Stradling (acoustic bass guitar, octave bass guitar), Jon Swayne (border bagpipes, soprano and alto saxophones)
Played here with the traditional time-changes, first in a set with Half Hanniken
Paul teaching Falco on border pipes, fast and slow; first in F, then in G from 4:38.
(Note to fiddlers: I like to play this tuned GDGD – gets a little of that pipes/gurdy drone sound. However, E strings don’t last long with all that tuning back up again, so if you want to play cross-tuned, perhaps best to use AEAE, and stick to standard tuning if you want to play along with Paul’s pipes or other non A-friendly instrument.)
Every couple of weeks or so I feature a tune that's caught my fancy – audio/video clips of brilliant musicians playing great, perhaps uncommon tunes to learn by ear. Most are from the English and American Old-time traditions; some hail from other musical worlds ‒ Scandi, perhaps, or French. But whatever you play ‒ fiddles or frets, free-reeds or fipples ‒ I hope you enjoy catching these wonderful tunes!