Soldier’s Joy reel

There are 22 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Wind That Shakes The Barley (a few times), The Fairy Dance (a few times), Speed The Plough (a few times).

Soldier's Joy has been added to 16 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Soldier's Joy
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|AB|:BAA2FDD2|BAA2FDD2|BAA2BAA2|F2E2E2AB|
BAA2FDD2|BAB2d2e2|f2f2fee2|1d2f2d2AB:|2d2f2d2ff|
|:f2g2a2>a2|e2f2g2>g2|f2g2a2g2|fed2A2zf|
f2g2a2g2|e2f2g4|f2f2fee2|1d2f2d2ff:|2d2f2d4|]
ABC
X: 2
T: Soldier's Joy
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
dB |: A2 F2 D2 F2 | DFABd2 dB | A2 F2 D2 F2 | EDEF E2dB |
A2 F2 D2 F2 | DFAB d2de | fedf egfe|dBAF D4 :|
|: defg a2f2| e2f2 g4 | defg a2f2|e2c2 A4 |
defg a2f2| e2f2 g4 | fagf egfe |dBAF D4 :|
ABC
X: 3
T: Soldier's Joy
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
dB | A2 F2 D2 F2 | DFAB d2 dB | A2 F2 D2 F2 | EDEF E2
dB | A2 F2 D2 F2 | DFAB d2 de | fedf egfe | dBAF D2 :|
dB | defg a2 f2 | e2 f2 g4 | defg a2 f2 | e2 c2 A4 |
defg a2 f2 | e2 f2 g4 | fagf egfe | dBAF D2 :|
ABC

Eleven comments

Soldier’s Joy

I heard this as a child, it is hard to tell where first. It is everywhere apparently. This is how I play it, and I play it often with other old time players around Virginia, and don’t seem to have much of a problem with them, so it must fit pretty well. Simple, beautiful, and fun tune.

Also, this is a bare bones setting of the tune and is meant to be played with many additional ornaments, but will still stand alone as a reasonable setting in itself, at least from my knowledge of the tune.

“Soldier’s Joy”

"Soldier’s Joy" aka "The King’s Head" in this transcription recently posted is an easy version of this old tune. It is one of the most often played tunes in the southern states and is standard repertoire for most fiddlers. It is what we refer to as a "crossover" tune as it’s an old tune that’s played in the Scottish, Irish, Bluegrass, and Old-time traditions in the states. It’s said to be one of George Washington’s favorite dance tunes. The tune appears in numerous fiddle collections. It’s printed as #1642 in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland and Ken Perlman collected an interesting version of "Soldier’s Joy" in his book The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island (Celtic and Acadian Tunes in the Living Tradition). It’s in the Edden Hammons Collection Vol. 2 West Virginia University Press recordings but probably my favorite recording of this tune is one played at lightening speed by Bill Monroe with Doc Watson live in concert.

Soldier’s Joy

This was my first attempt at using abc. Forever a beginning tin whistle student, I learned the Deighton Family’s "Appalachian" version of this tune before I ever heard any others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mO5z-MY65k


I notice sessioners complaining that SJ is a "horrid" tune (maybe more so as a hornpipe), so I wanted to share a setting that at least children have gotten a kick out of.

Sorry if this offends.

Soldier’s Joy

• You do not need a bar line at the beginning of the tune, ever.
• The tune isn’t allowed to breathe because you’re squeezingallthenotesintooneline.
• The repeat mark doesn’t show up because you inserted a space between the : and the |
• You have combined the last two bars into one long bar and all the notes are squished together.
• Because you used a half note to end the A part, you’ve lost a beat and the tune doesn’t "add up". [Ah, I see you have tried to add a start repeat after the anacrusis, but it’s not showing in the notation because you have inserted a space between the | and the :]
• The B part is all on one line as well, and looks very claustrophobic.
• You do not need the bar line at beginning of the line.
• You have combined the first two bars of the B part, and bars 3 & 4, and bars 5 & 6, and bars 7 & 8
• In bars 7 & 8 you have 15 eighth notes therefore the tune doesn’t "add up". It’s extremely difficult for people to read groups of notes like that.
• You have added a sharp sign (#) after the "c" in the B part which is redundant as all the "c"s are sharp.

Apart from that, it’s perfect (sorry, I’m being sarcastic). Don’t give up, because it’s clear you’re enthusiastic and want to share, but I would suggest you wait until you have acquired at least a little skill at ABC notation before submitting any more tunes.

Nigel. I will use all of your criticisms, except for the sarcasm, to acquire at least a little skill at ABC notation. Thanks, partly.

Here’s a revision according to some of the identified problems, but it is still a draft because I have not found how to deal with the pick up notes at the beginning correctly.

I may confirm the suspicions of some that I have no one else to help me with this.

Thanks in advance for pointing out any remaining or new problems.

dB | A2F2D2F2 | DFABd2dB | A2F2D2F2 | EDEFE2dB | A2F2D2F2 | DFABd2de | fedfegfe | dBAFD2 |
| defga2f2 | e2f2g4 | defga2f2 | e2C2A4 | defga2f2 | e2f2g4 | fagfegfe | dBAFD4 |

I found this discussion involving the pick up note issue, but I’m not getting the right picture from it.
http://thesession.org/discussions/32761

If you put a repeat sign at the end of the first line then the A part would work. You are missing a beat before the B part (because of the 3 beat bar). If you put that beat as a pick up at the start of the B part (as you have on the A part) you need a first and second ending on the B part to get your final D4

The first setting above (X:1) handles the pick ups properly (but it starts with a bar line that Nigel says you don’t need). So you could subsitute your ‘notes’ in that.

I find it really help me get a tune off to a good start if the pick up is notated (if there usually is one)- especially if it’s not what I would have done left to my own devices.

Soldier’s Joy

I have notated the tune as I think you meant it; my advice would be to look at it and try to learn. I’m sorry that you were offended, but I don’t think the session.org is a place for trial and error.

Thanks for your time and attention, David50. So,

the A part works like this?

dB | :A2F2D2F2 | DFABd2dB | A2F2D2F2 | EDEFE2dB | A2F2D2F2 | DFABd2de | fedfegfe | dBAFD2: |

You said, "You are missing a beat before the B part (because of the 3 beat bar). If you put that beat as a pick up at the start of the B part (as you have on the A part) you need a first and second ending on the B part to get your final D4".

On trillian.mit.edu, I found "First and second repeats can be generated with the symbols [1 and [2, e.g. faf gfe|[1 dfe dBA:|[2 d2e dcB|]. When adjacent to bar lines, these can be shortened to |1 and :|2, but with regard to spaces | [1 is legal, | 1 is not."

But I need to study more on this B part missing beat and the 3 beat bar.

PS. I see Nigel submitted something while I was writing this post. This submission shows me how to deal with those pick up notes.