Soldier’s Joy hornpipe

Also known as Chicken In The Bread Tray, The Clap Dance, French Four, Gower, The Gower, The King’s Head, Lumbers, The Morris Reel, Pibddawns Gwyr, Reel Des Pompiers, Reel Du Vagabon, Reel Du Vagabond, Seksmannsril, Sex Man Engelska, Soldier’s Joy, The Soldier’s Joy, Soldiers Joy, Soldiers’ Joy.

There are 31 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), Liberty (a few times), Speed The Plough (a few times).

Soldier's Joy has been added to 479 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Nine settings

X: 1
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:AFDF AFDF|A2 d2 d2 cB|AFDF AFDF|G2E2 E2 FG|
|AFDF AFDF|A2 d2 d2 de|fafd egec|d2 d2 d4:|
|:fdfd fagf|edcd efge|fdfd fagf|edcB A2 de|
| fdfd fagf| ecAc efge| fafd egec|d2 d2 d4:||
# Added by Odin .
ABC
X: 2
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AB|:A2F2 D2F2|A2 d2 d2 AB|A2F2 D2F2|E2EF E2 AB|
|A2F2 D2F2|A2 d2 d2 de|fafd egec|d2 d2 d4:|
ABC
X: 3
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: FG |AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 cB | A2 AB AF DF | G2 F2 E2 FG |
AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 e2 | fafd e2 c2 | d2 d2 d2 :|
|: de |f2 f2 fagf | e2 e2 e2 de | f2 f2 fagf | edcB A2 d2 |
f2 f2 fagf | e2 e2 e2 ge | fafd e2 c2 | d2 d2 d2 :|
ABC
X: 4
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:AB|AFDF ABAF|A2 d2 d2 dB|AFDF ABAF|E2 A2 A2 AB|
|AFDF ABAF|A2 d2 d2 fg|a2 f2 egfe|cd d2 d2 :|
|:fg|a2 ab a2 f2|gfga b2 ag|fagf edcd|edcB A2 fg|
a2 ab a2 f2|gfga b2 ag|fagf egfd|cd d2 d2:||
|:dB|AGFE DEFG|A d2 A d2 dB|AGFE DEFG|E A2 B A2 AB|
|AGFE DEFG|A d2 A d2 ef|a2 f2 egfe|cd d2 d2 :|
|:fg|agfe defa|gfga b2 ag|fagf edcd|edcB A2 fg|
abaf edef|gfga b2 ag|fagf egfd|cd d2 d2:||
ABC
X: 5
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FG|AFDF AFDF|D2 d4 cB|AFDF AFDF|G2 E4 FG|
|AFDF AFDF|D2 d4 fg|afdf gece|d2 d4:|
|:e2|fefg fagf|edcd efge|fefg fagf|edcB A2 A2|
|fefg fagf|edcd efge|afdf gece|d2 d4:|
ABC
X: 6
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: FG |AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 cB | A2 AB AFDF | E2 A2 A2 FG |
AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 e2 | fafd egec | d2 f2 d2 :|
|: z2 |fede f2 f2 | edcd e2 e2 | fede f2 f2 | edcB A2 z2 |
fede f2 f2 | edcd e2 e2 | fafd egec | d2 f2 d2 :|
ABC
X: 7
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2F2 ABAB|A2 d2 d2 cB|A2 F2 ABAB|A2 G2 F2F4|
A2F2 ABAB|A2 d2 d2 e2|f2 a2 gfge|d2 c2 d4:|
f2 de f2f2|edcd ef g2|f2 de f2f2|edcB A4|
f2 de f2f2|edcd ef g2|f2 a2 gfge|d2 c2 d2:||
ABC
X: 8
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2 F2 ABAB | A2 d2 d2 cB | A2 F2 ABAB | A2 G2 F2 ED |
A2 F2 ABAB | A2 d2 d2 e2 | f2 a2 gfge |d2 c2 dBAD :|
g2 | f2 de f2 f2 | edcd ef g2 | f2 de f2 B2 | edcB A2 F2 |
f2 de f2 f2 | edcd ef g2 | f2 a2 gfge | d2 c2 d2 :||
# Added by muspc .
ABC
X: 9
T: Soldier's Joy
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FG|AFDF AFDF|A2 d2 d2 cB|AFDF AFDF|G2E2 E2 FG|
|AFDF AFDF|A2 d2 d2 de|fafd egec|d2f2d2:|
|:de|fdAd fagf|edcd efge| fdAd fgaf|edcB A2 de|
|fdAd fagf|edcd efge|fafd egec|d2f2 d2:|
# Added by Boyen .
ABC

One hundred and six comments

This tune is a hornpipe that is often played as a reel. It is played in many traditions from the British Isles and America.

Posted by .

This tune can also be found in O’Neill’s.

Posted by .

horrid tune

Posted by .

Yes, a lot of Irish players I know hate this tune…I’m not sure why, I don’t find it all that awful, but since I don’t play it regularly… It’s very popular among the old time set, I do know that.

Sorry David I dont believe it for a second, I will buy you a pint if you can make me like the sound of this tune!!!

Posted by .

Mines a Guinness..thanks bb

I’ll play this for you in the key of F while you go to the bar then bb!

And I think it is a Polka…

So I’ll have a scotch as well.

And you wood GW just to annoy me - I know it:)

Posted by .

What, if he has a scotch? Whyever would that annoy you, bb? :)

no - i mean if he plays it in F!!!! (or any key for that matter)

Posted by .

LOL - bb if you become physically violent with me next time I see you (on behalf of Zina) then I will play Soldier’s Joy. I so mean that.

bb, you ever heard the lyrics to this lovely air? *grin*

"Well, it’s 25 cents for the whiskey, 15 cents for the beer.
25 cents for the morphine, to take me away from here."

Appropriate, yes? :)

zls

Sound

I’ve only heard the bluegrass version of this song, but I think it sounds pretty good. Maybe all y’all should try the yank version :)

KlapTanz! - Yeah, that German influence again - - - hey, Hitler had family in Eire, and kept a car there too…

This was ‘the tune’ for a dance popular in the North, Ulster, as well as elsewhere in Eire, called ‘The Clap Dance’. One Northern version is between four men and as things got sloppy, latter in the evening and the Guinness and Whiskey flowing (hints to the above comms), they’d sometimes miss each others palms and hit elsewhere on the body, like the face, and it could be damned hard wherever they smacked you. Sometimes, and I do mean ‘sometimes’, not regularly, it escalate to a knock down drag out fight…

So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

I’m pretty sure I’ve read about it somewhere, that Soldier’s Joy isn’t the most appreciated tune to some people.. Why is that ?_?

Thanks [I think] in advance,
Armand =P

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

1) Because it’s Scottish - some people just hate Scottish tunes
2) Because the Irish sometimes slow it down and play it like a hornpipe (it sounds even worse like this), instead of playing it as a quick sailor’s hornpipe and putting it in the context of a set with something like "Staten Island".
3) Because the purpose of the tune is really for dancing at a country dance night in your local town hall or social club, not to be listened to in the comfort of your living room
4) Because it’s melodically fairly uninteresting compared to a lot of other tunes since the tune revolves round simple arpeggios
5) Because it’s an old tune, so a lot of its melodic ideas have been copied into other tunes and have consequently become cliched, e.g. the bit that goes |fafd egec|d2d2 d…
6) Because it’s far too common a tune the type of crap session that attracts djembe players

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Or it might even be English, and that’s worse - that would make it the object of even more derision! :-) I didn’t even mention how the bluegrass/old-time crowd have taken to it. They make it a *really* bad tune ;-)

Me, I’m a bit like Zeens, I’m not that bothered by it. There’s a lot of tunes I’d rather play, but if someone started it up I’d join in. I’m not like bb, who would be sure to physically assault anyone who plays this at her session, and if not, she’d at least make sure she tipped her pint of VB over the head of whoever started it.

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Hehehe, last time Greenwiggle and I were playing tunes, we played SJ and lots of other dag cuz bb wasn’t there. We had great fun!

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Ah.. About the Djembe! I’ve watched DVD’s and a few times I’ve seen an out of place man playing the Djembe.. What’s the deal with that? Is it slowly becoming part of the music?

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Armand

There are some people who cannot distinguish between their own subjective decision that they do not like a certain tune, and the declaration that it is a "bad" tune.

In my humble opinion, whilst it may be justified to say that a particular tune doesn’t belong in an Irish Music Session - for example Paranoid by Black Sabbath, or the fourth movement of Tchaikovski’s 6th symphony, it is inexcusable for someone to shout down a tune simply on the basis that they personally dislike it.

Soldiers Joy is one of a number of tunes that some people will "shout down" because they declare it to be "daggy" or simply downright bad, without having the courtesy to listen to someone else’s playing. If we all resorted to this yobbish behaviour then precious few tunes would ever get played.

Other tunes I’ve seen this happen to include Winster Galop, Jimmy Allen (both of which are English in origin), London Derriere, The Maids of Mourne Shore (Down by the Salley Gardens).

Dave

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Winster Gallop - I *love* that tune! Hahaha

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

I agree with every word showaddydadito wrote.I was at a session recently and two of the participants came out with the breathtaking statement,"we don’t play hornpipes".For once I was speechless.There are no hackneyed tunes,just hackneyed players.There is life beyond reels.By the way,"The Soldier’s Joy" was payday.

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Because there are a few people who actually OWN the music, after a while you’ll be able to spot them.
Ask them what the proper tunes are, they know the good ones, and for God sake PLEASE don’t
rely on your own opinion of whether it’s good or not, or you could really upset them !

Posted by .

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

SJ was the first tune in a (not particular irish) folk fiddle book i once got. I made my first steps with it years before I turned to itm - no wonder I forgot about SJ. some month ago at munich ceili band the dancers wanted another hornpipe set while we ran out of sets (and we refused to repeat one) - so somebody sugested harvest home/soldiers joy as the qadsop*. we all 14 nodded and played. it was fun. but I´m not so enthusiastic about SJ to start it in a session…

*quickanddirtysolutionoftheproblem

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

For the benefit of the more literally minded people, and those who do not have the benefit of a sense of dry humour, it should be noted that BegF’s post (above) is so saturated with irony, that pure liquid irony is likely to run down your screen and contaminate your sandwich/scone/papers/cat - whatever lies on the table below your computer screen.

Oh - and by the way: (BefF BefF BefF BefF)

Showdaddy

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Ah come on ShowDaddy, are you telling me you haven’t spot the owners ???

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Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

No I’m agreeing with you!

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

Playing Soldiers joy is a bit like putting brown sauce on your seared tuna with passion fruit jus…..
Actually - I quite like SJ, it’s what I think is known in the States as a ‘no-brainer’. You can play it on the flute and eat crisps and have a conversation at the same time. All in all a useful little tune(!)

Re: So… Why do people hate Soldier’s Joy?

This is driving me nuts! I’ve listened to Soldier’s Joy many times, I’ve learned it, I’ve even played it at sessions, but for the life of me, right now I cannot even think of what it sounds like. I keep geeting Devil’s dream in my head instead.

Anyway, I like to think that all of you would also play the Jig of Slurs if somebody started it. I’ve once seen a hapless fiddler starting it and the other 5 fiddlers just put down their instruments and crossed their arms.
I rather like the tune myself and cannot understand why it’s so hated. Dow, any explanations on this?

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This thread moved suddenly!

LOL @ Jack - I’m going to need medication if you don’t stop baiting me about hornpipes!

Cath, re: Jig Of Slurs
1) Because it’s Scottish - some people just hate Scottish tunes
2) Because the Irish play it like an Irish jig (it sounds even worse like this), instead of playing it as a pipe march or Scottish pipe jig and putting it in the context of a set with something like "The Atholl Highlanders" [Go Will!]
3) Because the purpose of the tune is really as a showpiece for Highland pipers, not to be listened to in the comfort of your living room
4) Because it’s melodically different to most jigs in the Irish repertoire since the tune revolves round simple melodic figures that repeat themselves incessantly
5) Because the tune is well suited to the incredibly complex ornamentation used by Highland pipers, which bears no resemblance to the rolls and triplets of Irish jigs
6) Because it’s far too common a tune at the type of crap session that attracts djembe players

Oh, I’ll play any old shecht if somebody else starts it. However, I’ve got a bad habit of staring at the ceiling and feigning a sense of boredom or smiling intensely at those who are taking the tune too seriously. Going to the bar would probably be more polite but I like to save that for when the singers start. :-)

I’m pretty sure Harry Bradley loves these "daggy" tunes. Well, I don’t know how long it will take me to be able to play them properly, like he does.

Come here a sec Yamadasan you’ve got some chocolate or something smeared on your nose there, I’ll wipe it off for you. There you go ;-)

The Way of Dow, oops, I mean ‘Tao’ ;-P - I feel a tome coming on…

Tunes like ‘Soldier’s Joy’ are the water of tradition, in everything and everywhere. Like water, we can easily take them for granted - just water, plain water - wet! For some folks, like those who live in wet lands, water in the form of rain can be an irritation, especially when they regularly get soaked to the bone with it. While for others, born to it, when it’s pissin’ down it is an excuse to go out in it and romp around and let fly, splashing about and enjoying getting soaked, that ‘singing in the rain’ sort of madness. As some people would interpret this, ‘making a fool of oneself’, or, in other words, an ‘ass’. I fit that latter category. Hey, check the bit of history on me, even tropical wet, and I lived for a spell in ‘Valsetz’…

I have always loved swimming, diving and skinny dippin’. Most places I’ve called home, including Eire and here (currently suffering thunder storms and floods), are famous for their wetness… I’m more comfortable in water than out, whether fresh or salt or muddy or falling from the sky. Sadly, I haven’t yet managed to find a session of that nature, except, for short spells, as one example, outside on the sidewalks of Galway in a storm and with us trying to play under an eave and a bit of plastic, in what seemed a cloud burst, dripping wet. We managed make enough for us each to get a nice hot meal indoors, and fortunately, people taking pity, in only about an hour. It was fun and we tended to play jolly madness, like ‘Soldier’s Joy’. I was the ‘fledgling’, while the others present would fall under that category of unpretentious ‘hot shots’, for which Eire has great store. I concede, such foolishness as a session in the surf would not be kind to musical instruments. These things too we must respect.

It never surprises me the folks who state that things like ‘polkas’ or particular tunes are ‘easy’ or as someone put it ‘no-brainers’, and then proceed to show how they can’t actually play them, at least not with any lift, interest or life. You have to have those things and believe in a tune before you can enliven it, electrify the air with it. Back to the ‘old times’, this particular potion of water was a staple in the canteens of ceili bands like ‘The McCusker Brothers’ and ‘The Pride of Erin’ in the north. They never tired of it. I have to also say, amongst the older musicians, and across Eire, I never heard a bad word for the tune, and only heard joy and humour in its play. Having known the parch of being without water for too long, It is a rebirth to me everytime I drink it. I will admit, there are some pretty bad sources for this life, especially certian sulfer rich springs, which are still OK for a soak if you don’t use your nose…a good laugh.

Remember that dance mentioned above, the Clap Dance for four, but also true with other tunes and dances. The musicians used to play around a lot with Soldier’s Joy, tempo wise for certain dances - from funerary to sweaty and manic, while for other things it was nice and steady but always playful. If you ever get a chance to dance that dance, or play for it with folks who know, those of you who can’t feel anything for this tune might ease up and discover the humour of it all. I would agree with the gist of this chain of thoughts though, if you can’t see anything in a tune, if it doesn’t do anything for you, after giving it a fair trial, then maybe it is better to leave it out of your repertoire, it just doesn’t fit your ‘nature’… But, please, however it might not be for you, try not to refuse others the opportunity to drink it in and make it theirs.

Yeah Dow, I know what you mean, about Djembe players, I’d much rather a good Tabla, Dumbek or Darabouka player…

Han Shan (1546-1623) - a favourite, with that daoist and zen swing:

In my first thirty years of youth
I roamed thousands of miles,
Walked by, drank from and forded rivers.
Through forests and deep green grasses I bled,
Visiting dry cities boiling with red dust.
I praciticed the alchemy of potions,
I inhaled, I breathed the ideas in books,
I wrote poems, sang songs, celebrated with music,
lived, soaked in and made history -
drugged in a vain search for immortality.
And now I am returned to Cold Mountain:
I’ll rest by this melody of melting snow,
beside the running stream, and purify my ears.

- #750 loosely based on a mix of trans.
including by Gary Snyder & Burton Watson
from ‘Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems’ (Snyder)
North Point Press
ISBN: 0865474559
& ‘Cold Mountain: One Hundred Poems’ (Burton)


Great accomplishments are composed of minute details.
Those who succeed in attaining the Whole
have attended carefully to each tiny part.
Those who fail have ignored or taken too lightly
what they deemed to be insignificant.
The enlightened person overlooks nothing.

- trans. by Grandmaster Jy Din Shakya
from ‘The Maxims of Master Han Shan Te’-Ch’ing’

Whew! - I know I’m going to get guff for this… ;-)
(& the blinkin’ ‘smiley’! - very Dow-ist, eh?…)

Wow that poem was amazing!

Dow-ist

Ahhh… yes grasshoppa Dow — an amazing poem indeed. Try to see the whole little bigger picture my son.

WHAM! - Got the little bastard -

That’ll teach him for trying to suck my blood. Mind you, we call ‘em midges around here…

ceolachan, long may you wax long and eloquently, but the term ‘no-brainer’ isn’t a sort of insult to the tunes, but a reference to the fact that it is so ingrained into my subconcious that I barely have to think in order for the wretched little darling to come out! I don’t think its any easier or harder than any other tune consisting of sets of arpeggios, though I would probably concede that ‘simple’ tunes like that need more input in order to render them alluring…

I reckon that the problem with the tune is that it’s not daggy *enough*. It’s only half-daggy really. If it had fewer notes in it, it would be truly entertaining, but as it is it’s just one of those tunes that people get sick of, rather than finding humour in it.

Hmm, sort of. From my profile: "A ‘daggy’ tune is one that is so unbelievably uncool that it makes you laugh if you hear it, like "Rakes Of Mallow", or "Winster Gallop" … Dag should be laughter-inducing".

Daggy tunes can be entertaining if you play them using exaggerated side-to-side head movements, and spice the tune up with ridiculous dynamics like exaggerated slurs, staccato notes, trills and rallentandos, accompanied by meaningful eye-flashes.

Oh, and you have to smile at your listeners at inappropriate moments during the tune. English concertina players are very skilled at this stuff.

We had to play "Soldiers Joy" last night. I doubt if the Sergeant Major would have been particularly joyful about the timing. It was all over the place. Not my fault, I hasten to add. I was only following the leader into battle. :-)

English players and the art of “daggy”

Dow wrote: "English concertina players are very skilled at this stuff."

I guess they’d have to be since they can’t get any real music out of those moustrap push-fiddle thingies. I can see now why you’re such an authority on the art of "daggy," Dow. :-D

I dunno what you’re talking about. I don’t play the English concertina. I used to, but I gave up because the derogatory comments made by Irish musicians upset me ;-)

I do miss our Anglo/English system slag sessions since you whimped-out, Dow. We brought to the front all of the finer points and details, not to mention some of the best terminology. We even provided a public service of sorts by dissuading people interested in taking up the instrument from ruining their lives. Are you sure you really want to give it up?

I didn’t wimp out. I was luring you into a false sense of security.

Hmm, well, actually, y’know, I’m thinking of taking it back up again. I heard on the grapevine that someone high profile in Ireland is playing English concertina in sessions (more info on that later when I need a wild card to play), so I’m thinking maybe I was just way ahead of my time, and English *push-fiddles* - as you so dismissively call them - will be the next "in thing". In a few years time, Englishes will be in and Anglos out. I’ll be fashionable and you not. And all your derogatory comments will be on the web forever, so that future generations of (English-only) concertina players will be able to read them and wonder why anyone ever had anything positive to say about "those primitive Anglo machines that didn’t even play sharps and flats".

Uh oh… where’s the sheriff?

Dow’s BACK IN THE SADDLE… and he means business this time. hahahaha

Soldier’s Joy

Getting back to the issue in hand :-), this tune is used in morris dancing, and is also known as the Morris Reel (not to be confused with a different tune of the same name, which is a hornpipe anyway). It’s sometimes played at sessions I’ve been to, but usually by musicians who are into English music as well as Irish, so they know how to give the tune its life.
Trevor

Solider’s Joy

This is one of the "norwegian" reels that we play here in south Norway. Probarbly it has been picked up by singers on ships, and then fiddlers in Norway has picked it up from them.
We also call it Solider’s Joy.

Posted by .

German revival group Fiedel Michel call this tune ‘Hornpfiff’ (pfiff = sound of a whistle). In their book of songs and dances (1978) they state that they first learnt it from a Scottish fiddler as a Scottish tune. Later they found it in a collection of Danish dance tunes. They also met Swedish fiddlers who knew the tune and classed it as Danish. The band reckons that the tune wandered from Norway to Scotland and Ireland via the Shetlands.

Posted by .

“Soldier’s Joy” ~ the other way around ‘kuec’

I’ve known it as a 3-part tune for a Danish folk dance, but I’ve also danced a Svenska Engelska to it too, a Swedish Folk Dance recognized with the ‘Engelska’ as having English origins. Here’s a link and some content from elsewhere:

http://www.folkdancing.com/
http://www.folkdancing.com/Pages/skandia/02engel.htm


"When Britannia "ruled the waves" in the 18th and 19th centuries, English sailors roamed the globe and in many coastal areas left traces of their music and dance which survive unto this day. The term engelska, meaning "English" in Swedish, refers to such dances, which can be traced back to an English dancing master book published in 1651. Called reel in Denmark, ril in Norway and enkeliska in Finnish, these dances have distinctly recognizable British steps and figures, and are danced to cognates of tunes still played in the British Isles and North America, but are executed in a Nordic rather than English style. ~

Most any Swedish engelska melody at moderate to moderately slow tempo, with consistent 16-measure phrasing, would be suitable. The most common tune is that recognized in the US as "Soldier’s Joy," which was spread by British sailors to both Europe and North America in the 18th century."

Soldier’s Joy…I can’t get it out of my head.

Sorry, people, but, I had never heard this tune until a couple of weeks ago and I can’t get it out of my head. I don’t consider it a bad thing, I like it. We do not play it as a hornpipe though, we play it much faster and it has a definite Scottish slant on it and believe it or not, it is fun to improvise the "B" part of John Ryan’s Polka over other’s playing of the "B" part of Soldier’s Joy and sounds kinda neat. We aren’t particularly virulent about our sessions though and we can get away with playing things like that without crockery being thrown.

In the end, it’s just a bit of fun and it seems to me that the worst problem I have observed in some sessions I have attended is the crappy attitude of the players when it comes to certain tunes or certain instruments or even certain players, no matter how good those players may well be.

Recently I was at a session where every musician that was playing Irish trad tunes packed up and walked out when an excellent Highland piper started to play some "kitchen piping" tunes. Now, this guy wasn’t a tune hog, he was only doing ONE short fast dance tune and these other (expletives deleted) simply gave pained smiles and exited the room. Now, this was a decent sized, high ceilinged 50 seat theater, not a little tiny room that buffets the pipe music around and assaults the eardrums. The guy played his one tune, looked around, found himself alone except for a few VERY appreciative listeners in the audience and a couple of appreciative bodhran players and gave a shrug and continued to entertain with more pipe tunes. I was so upset by his treatment that I have refused to return. Attitudes can kill a session a lot faster than any "daggy" tune.

Shoot the Piper!? ~

I wasn’t there, so I can’t pass any comment on whatever the full context was of your walk-out. I like the bagpipes, but a session isn’t a recording studio and isn’t amplified, so balancing out other instruments with the bagpipes, except as you noted ‘skin-beaters’, isn’t possible in a laid back acoustic session. After all, there are reasons the highland bagpipes were used for war. They are very present, as some take it ~ ‘in your face’, or in your ears in a dominant way. There are other related pipes, parlour and lowland, which work better in such at setting, are, more considerate.

Now, to do with that, ‘consideration’. What is that session’s history? Sessions are made up of people and over time they establish a tradition. I’ve never barrelled into a session. In fact, I go a few times just to listen, to scope it out. Eventually I ask around, see if there is a structure, which there usually is, and which can usually be surmised without asking, just from listening a few times before joining in. I have been in settings were an overbearing instrument, more usually to do with how it’s played, rolled over us all. Some capable of doing that are the piano accordion, the hammered dulcimer, anything beaten with a stick or thumped about, and pipes ~ all sorts of pipes, pipes in and out of tune, pipes that sound like a traffic jam at rush hour, pipes that remind me of a muffler-less car rattling its presence. In those situations the person weilding their weapon of choice came in like a cowboy lookin’ for a fight, the saloon doors swinging behind them and they ready to take everyone’s attention.

I see you are learning the highland pipes, so there is some bias there in their favour. They make poor company at an acoustic session. Like someone playing their piano accordion with all five reed sets open and pushing and pulling for as much legato volume as they can get, the bass and chord pumping along ~ you don’t get to join in and be on a par with the ‘happening’, you are beaten into submission and can only follow or shut up or leave to go play elsewhere. Such occurances do not a good and considerate blend make. They are not ‘equal’ or democratic.

I don’t think just walking out is a great way to deal with it, but I can understand being put off by arrival of the rocket ship. There should be more courteous ways to deal with it, but hey, it was ‘in their face/ears’, it was an affront, however it was pulled off. You don’t arrive the first time at someone else’s session and just take over, even if it is just one slam. You get to know the situation and the people. Maybe there’s a pipe band in town this person could have been directed to, or an ‘electric’ session where the balance can be accomplished with amplifiers for eveyone else.

Attitudes can ruin things, but it seems that the problem wasn’t one sided, even if I wasn’t there to see what happened…

Back on topic, I love the old dogs, including "Soldier’s Joy". Yes, it is played both ways, straight and without swing, in the manor of a reel, as is true of most ‘hornpipes’ in North America, or swung like an old style hornpipe/barndance/schottische. For the ‘clap dance’ they also played with the tempo, teasing the dancers in doing so, for the craic, for the laugh. The tune has that laughter in it. Too bad your sessioners hadn’t that much humour, to let the one pass and then laugh it off, go meet the interloper and talk it out instead of walking out. Mind you, that doesn’t always work, but it is more ‘constructive’… They could have invited him back and said bring your whistle or a flute next time, or maybe he had a set of parlour pipes?

Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I am not a big fan of country - western - bluegrass music, but my father, who loves it showed me one tune that reminds me very very much of many irish reels. It’s tune called Soldier’s joy. Does anyone know does that tune has some irish / celtic roots, and does anyone know where could I get sheet music for it…? That tune souds great on fiddle and banjo, but I would like to learn it. I play flute and whistles by the way…

Cheers…

Bile

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Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

It goes back to the American Revolution at least. There has been a lot of debate about what the soldiers joy actually was. Some guess that its either pay day, or morphine. There is also a German connection. Something about the Heshians that were loaned to the English crown to fight in America during that period. Hmmmm…

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

It’s also widely played here in the states but not at many irish trad sessions. In New England it’s not considered a bluegrass tune exclusively, more of an ol timey New England type tune that spans many types of fiddling. Very common.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

Surprisingly enough, here in Northern Ireland this would not be classed as the most popular tune in a session. Pity really, cause it’s not a bad wee tune alright Bile, but let’s face it, soldiers have not been the most popular members of the landscape up here for some years now!

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

It’s one of those tunes that gets around. There’s a Norwegian set dance to it, and that’s why one of the alternate names for it in the tune database here is Seksmanrill. If you search the tune base for SJ there’s quite a long discussion.

cj

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Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I would have called this a New England fife march, if I hadn’t read the stuff above. I guess lots of folks have adopted it.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I remember……….."Yes, carry on, Grandad….." when they tried to have a live fiddlers’ session onstage at Cambridge Folk Festival many years ago, and somebody tried to start it off with Soldiers Joy, and there was complete chaos as almost no-one knew it. I remember it from my first or second band, and it’s popular at our sessions, often played with Staten Island as a set. It just goes to show what is well-known in one session is unheard-of down the road.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I thought "Soldiers Joy" was everyone’s beginner tune!

Oh well, you live and learn.
The Irish/British/New England version is different to the Appalachian/Old Time/Bluegrass version (heven’t heard a Western Swing version yet but who knows?) which is more chordal and syncopated but otherwise very similar. The two go together, often unintentionally, with interesting/amusing results.

Anyway, it’s the first tune I teach anyone.

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Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

Soldier’s Joy is in O’Neill’s 1850. Similarly, Turkey in the Straw and Arkansas Traveler are in O’Neill’s Waifs and Strays. So, whether or not any of these are Irish in origin, at least there is some history of their being played within the Irish tradition.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

hRmm…More like an Old time tune. Old time came before bluegrass although many of the tunes from Old time are also played in bluegrass. The difference is, bluegrass is based on harmonizing, instrumental solos and speed. Old time is a lot more like Irish. Not much soloing, tunes repeated over and over (except in old time, a tune can carry on for a LONG time)…the local old time session I go to is a lot like the Irish session I go to except old time tunes aren’t usually played in sets.

But about having Irish Roots? I learned from my late Old time fiddle teacher that Old time music does have irish roots. During and after the expansion to the west, people in different areas developed their own styles of music which became old time music. Appalachia is famous for their awesome old time style. So, yeah…I would say that Soldier’s Joy has Irish Roots.

P.S. ‘The Skillet Lickers’ do a nice, REAL old timey version of Soldier’s Joy. =)

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

Do read the comments in the tune section, and perpaps post some of your own there. Opinions differ as to whether the tune travelled from northern Europe to England or vice versa.
I already knew it before I started ITM because I had heard it played by the local German folk group often enough. Personally I think it originated somewhere in the North. Mecklenburg, Denmark, Sweden?
It makes me grin that we now play it to our German audience as an ‘Irish’ tune.
BTW : Does anybody play a third part?

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Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I once gathered as many recordings as I could find for a college project. It was interesting to hear how geography changed the style; slowing down from North of England to South, and the reverse in the U.S.
For an easy-to-join-in old chestnut set, try it with Rakes of Mallow and Brighton Camp.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

The Soldiers Joy is a standard of Scottish Country Dance bands, by whom it is considered a reel, I think. It is actually quite typical in form and style of the music of E. Scotland. This is not to say it necessarily originated there. It has versions in Shetland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. In the Norse-speaking countries, it is known as an ‘Engelska’, a type of dance or dance tune supposedly having its origins in England - and in Estonia, ‘Ingliska’. This doesn’t necessarily mean it originated in England either. Given it’s distribution within Europe (everything gets all mixed up once its gets to The Americas), and its apparent lesser popularity in Ireland and the West of Scotland, it seems likely that it originated somewhere in Central Northern Europe, perhaps somewhere on the Baltic or North Sea.

Whatever its origins it was around a long time before bluegrass was even a twinkle in Bill Monroe’s eye.

By the way, I am not Murfbox, I am Spoon posting from his computer.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I always understood it to be a Scottish tune. I think (though I may stand corrected on this), that the old timey version of it’s called Leather Breeches.

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Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

It might be played by old-time and bluegrass musos as well, but I’d say its origins are most likely Scottish.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I thought it meant pay day.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

Scroll down to "Soldier’s Joy" in this link from The Fiddler’s Companion for a thorough discussion of the origins. It seems the tune was in print as early as 1756.

http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/SO_SOR.htm

It is characterized here as one of the most popular fiddle tunes in history.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

And bush bands. Common as ——.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

Actually, Soldier’s Joy is a style of tune called a Sottish Measure. It developed for a particlar genteel dance style from east Scotland. The tell tale indicator is in the second Bar(measure for our American friends), which have three strong quarter notes, which correspond with the dance steps. In most bluegrass versions, the melody of the second bar tends to be changed to eigth notes.

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Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I have heard a variety of lyrics sung to the same tune
known in bluegrass circles as "Soldier’s Joy". All of the versions refer to soldier’s joy as morphine provided as painkiller during the Civil War in the US. (In addition, Michelle Shocked produced an interesting old-timey influenced album in the early 90’s that I believe had her own version of lyrics to this tune. It’s quite good.)

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

Aye nice one tag, I remember tracking down Prince Rupert’s March on that very site, & a jolly little jape of a tune that is too! :-)

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

In Newfoundland they call the tune "Billy Peddle"

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

I often wonder if we totally over-look the influence sailors had on folk music. Any ocean going vessel would have had sailors from all over the world, and being packed in together for months, every man would have learned the tunes played by shipmates. When they disembarked, would they have remembered what country it came from? When the people on land heard it, would they have thought, oh, that sailor’s Irish, it must be from Ireland? Talk about a melting pot. I have come to think that tunes like Soldier’s Joy (I heard it was what English soldiers called their pay) have had their histories scrambled by the millions of people who made the ocean their home.

Just a thought.

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

"I always understood it to be a Scottish tune. I think (though I may stand corrected on this), that the old timey version of it’s called Leather Breeches."

Nope, different tunes. Maybe cousins, but aren’t we all?

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

"Soldier’s Joy" was _the_ first actual traditional tune of any kind I learned to play (on mandolin). I used to hear it a lot at folk festivals and contra dances in the upstate New York area, and as others here have remarked, the tune seemed to be associated more with the old-timey or New England genre, rather than something you’d hear in sessions; seemed to be perfect for the frailing banjo, in particular. That being said, I do remember an American string band playing "Soldier’s Joy" for an Irish step dancer. Cousins indeed!

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Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

AhSIM,

Bruce Molsky would probably disagree that there is a direct connection between "Irish" music and Old Time. He counts about 7 tunes that are one for one translations (e.g. Leather Britches and Lord McDonalds, Hop High Ladies and Miss McCleods/McClouds, Kitty’s Wedding and one I can’t remember <G>, etc.) He did a nice demonstration at the Milwaukee Irishfest last year with Greenfields of America. Most of what we consider Old Time (a fluid definition, to be sure) is home grown music and has many influences including Scottish reels, but also blues and popular music. Bluegrass music borrows from that tradition heavily but is even more blues oriented and it too has a lot of original tunes and songs. In addition, Bluegrass has a finite time line dating back to the 1940’s.

Soldier’s Joy is a favorite of mine and I have heard it played all over the world.

Mike Keyes
http://www.banjosessions.com

Re: Soldier’s joy - Bluegrass tune

Unfortunately "old-time" has become standardized and has been given to many rules and definitions… Although I enjoy Bruce Molsky’s fiddling, I wouldn’t consider him an expert on the subject. (For that try Jabbour or Bayard.) Molsky seems to limit himself (at least in his recordings) to music from the mid to upper south. As a traditional player who specializes in the "oldtime" music of SW Pennsylvania, Western MD and Northern WV, I would say that Irish music and more specifically music from Ulster is a
H U G E part of what I call "old-time." I can play 6/8 tunes I collected from the Appalachians that sound "irish" but there are no known Irish variants… what kind of music is that? Bayard explained it as… either these types of tunes are either new creations in the US or preserved forms of what early Irish immigrants played…

More names for soldier’s joy

chicken in the bread tray, french four, reel du vagabond, reel des pompiers. Yep, this tune sure has been around the block!

Soldiers Joy

The fact is… I wrote it.

"Soldiers Joy" copyright 2006 Maryland-Highlander

Send me lots of money now!

Before I could stop myself, I actualy went to the top and re-read a lot of this topic. I need a life.

In the Southeastern US, I’ve never heard Soldier’s Joy played like this submission - with the arpeggios. It’s always been something like this (A part):

AB|:A2F2 D2F2|A2 d2 d2 AB|A2F2 D2F2|E2EF E2 AB|
|A2F2 D2F2|A2 d2 d2 de|fafd egec|d2 d2 d4:|

Or sometimes a scale down and up in place of the arpeggios or quarter notes. Actually, I *have* heard it played with the arpeggios, but only by someone who learned it from a book. I’ve always assumed that the arpeggio version is a Northern US thing, in addition to being Scottish and whatever. N’est ce pas?

I’ve heard it pretty much along the lines of this submission in a hell of a lot of places, or from folks from many regions, though the possible variations and treatments are part of its fun. I’m not sure altogether what you mean about ‘arpeggios’ as opposed to the A-part you’ve given, but the A-part submitted, just a start for a list of where I’ve heard it played so ~

(I might as well give some variation if I’m repeating it… ;-) )
|: FG | AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 cB | A2 AB AF (3DEF | G2 F2 E2 ~

Ulster - but if you need something a bit narrower - Fermanagh, Tyrone, Donegal - - -

Cork, Clare, Tipperary, Galway, Dublin - - -

France, Germany, Denmark, Macedonia - - -

England North - South and in between, Scotland, The Isle of Man, Anglesey - - -

North America - The Maritimes, Ontario, British Columbia - - -
The Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, New England, ‘Georgia’, Texas, Mexico - - - played for contras, squares and Sicilian circles and mixers for starters ~ even ol’ Henry Ford used the tune… It has given a hell of a lot of joy over time, aside from how many ways you can have with it as a musician…

Georgia, Georgia ~

Give us your full take on it Bob ~ maybe even with some variations as they do in your neck of the woods. Sadly, I never did anything but pass through those beautiful hills of North Georgia, but my heart longed to stop… Usually someone else was driving… What sort of dancing do you use it for?

soldier’s joy

we all know and love this tune, but did you know that there are words to it? i dont remember who wrote them. theyt should be about 40 years old if i am right. i had a friend who was looking for them. so if any of you have a clue it would be appreciated

Re: soldier’s joy

The tune itself is very old- much more than 40 years. I have heard some lyrics that date from the time of the American Civil War 1861-65.
I remember reading somewhere that the tune may have originated in Spain and was picked up by British soldiers serving there during the Napoleonic wars. The tune was played as a fife marching tune by both British and Continental troops during the American Revolution.
Can’t say that I particularly love the tune, I’ve heard it butchered far too often.
As for words, try Mudcat Cafe.

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Re: soldier’s joy

The tune for Soldier’s Joy seems to be known throughout Europe and every tradition that knows it thinks it’s their own.

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A different version, more interesting or less?

I usually play it more like this when I play it in bluegrass sessions:

X: 1
T: Soldier’s Joy
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Dmaj
|:AB|AFDF ABAF|A2 d2 d2 dB|AFDF ABAF|E2 A2 A2 AB|
|AFDF ABAF|A2 d2 d2 fg|a2 f2 egfe|cd d2 d2 :|
|:fg|a2 ab a2 f2|gfga b2 ag|fagf edcd|edcB A2 fg|
a2 ab a2 f2|gfga b2 ag|fagf egfd|cd d2 d2:||

Sometimes I pick up a little more Bill Monroe style and play it this way:

X: 1
T: Soldier’s Joy
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Dmaj
|:dB|AGFE DEFG|A d2 A d2 dB|AGFE DEFG|E A2 B A2 AB|
|AGFE DEFG|A d2 A d2 ef|a2 f2 egfe|cd d2 d2 :|
|:fg|agfe defa|gfga b2 ag|fagf edcd|edcB A2 fg|
abaf edef|gfga b2 ag|fagf egfd|cd d2 d2:||

Version from Thompson’s Compleat Collection of Country Dances c.1770

X: 1
T: The Soldier’s Joy
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Dmaj
|:FG|AFDF AFDF|D2 d4 cB|AFDF AFDF|G2 E4 FG|
|AFDF AFDF|D2 d4 fg|afdf gece|d2 d4:|
|:e2|fefg fagf|edcd efge|fefg fagf|edcB A2 A2|
|fefg fagf|edcd efge|afdf gece|d2 d4:|

Soldiers Joy

The reason I LIKE this tune is I am a member of a session group that plays old time and celtic. A lot of the old time players dislike when an Irish or Scottish tune is called. Some have even left the room. However, they like playing Soldiers Joy, Red Haired Boy and several others that they claim as old time. Even though I feel it is all related and I pretty much like most tunes, this gives me a chuckle.

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I like it just fine, thanks

I can understand how folks might get tired of a particular tune, especially if it’s overplayed in their circle, or they often hear it played badly/boringly, or whatever. But I quite like a lot of tunes that many folks I know find trite, or "noob tunes" or whatever.

Soldier’s Joy in particular, though, is one that I can play at a Revolutionary War/American War for Independence reenactment (I’m a reenactor as well as a musician) and nobody will complain about it being out of period. It’s documented to before the Rev War. At a reenactment, I try to limit myself to playing tunes that are traceable to the period or earlier. Why? It’d be like hearing the BeeGees at a 1950’s themed party.

I’ll keep playing it, and if someone doesn’t enjoy it, that’s fine. They can start the next tune, and if I know it, I’ll play along as best I can.

Cheers,
JKB

“Pibddawns Gŵyr” / “The Gower Hornpipe” / “Lumbers”

"Tro Llaw: A Collection of 200 Welsh Hornpipes from the National Library of Wales"
Collected, edited and arranged by Robin Huw Bowen
National Library of Wales, 1987
ISBN: 0-907158-25-0

Page 32, tune #16 ~ "Lumbers" / "Pibddawns Gŵyr" / "The Gower Hornpipe"

X: 16
T: Pibddawns Gŵyr
B: "Tro Llaw"
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Dmaj
|: FG |\
AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 cB | A2 AB AFDF | E2 A2 A2 FG |
AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 e2 | fafd egec | d2 f2 d2 :|
|: z2 |\
fede f2 f2 | edcd e2 e2 | fede f2 f2 | edcB A2 z2 |
fede f2 f2 | edcd e2 e2 | fafd egec | d2 f2 d2 :|

Another Variation

And yet another variation, a bit nearer the Welsh Ffidl recording as played by Huw Roberts &Stephen Rees.

X:1
T:Gower Reel
M4/4
L:1/8
R:Reel
K;Dmaj
A2F2 ABAB|A2 d2 d2 cB|A2 F2 ABAB|A2 G2 F2F4|
A2F2 ABAB|A2 d2 d2 e2|f2 a2 gfge|d2 c2 d4:|
g2|
f2 de f2f2|edcd ef g2|f2 de f2f2|edcB A4|
f2 de f2f2|edcd ef g2|f2 a2 gfge|d2 c2 d2:||

I was just going to correct Abram’s header…

but I thought I’d go ahead and throw in a couple of variations whilest I was at it. (The corrections to the header are to add the missing colon after the M and change the semicolon after the K to a colon. You’ll need to do these if you want to convert Abram’s ABCs to standard notation via, say, CONCERTINA.net.)

X:1
T:Gower Reel
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:Reel
K:Dmaj
A2 F2 ABAB | A2 d2 d2 cB | A2 F2 ABAB | A2 G2 F2 ED |
A2 F2 ABAB | A2 d2 d2 e2 | f2 a2 gfge |d2 c2 dBAD :|
g2 | f2 de f2 f2 | edcd ef g2 | f2 de f2 B2 | edcB A2 F2 |
f2 de f2 f2 | edcd ef g2 | f2 a2 gfge | d2 c2 d2 :||

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me and my colons.

thanks muspc, for spotting that, i’ll have to learn to pay more attention to it, too busy checking that ABC was right .

Soldier’s joy

Perhaps all those people who answered the rather strange question as to why people hate this tune with their own bile-filled self-serving opinionating ought to ask themselves two questions. One is about the tune: if it is so hateful, why is it one of the most widespread traditional tunes in the English-speaking world with a hufe number of variant versions? The other question is about themselves: why are you so disrespectful as to believe your opinion carries any weight? Whether you like or dislike a tune gives you no right to disrespect those whose opinion varies to yours. Having a particular and personal taste in music is something we are all entitled to; using these pages to attack other people’s choices is quite another. My opinion, as a fiddle-player, of ‘Soldier’s Joy’, and my view as to why it is so loved, is this. It is a structurally-simple tune, and therefore easy to learn; but it is also a very cheerful and exhilirating tune. Its challenge lies in its simplicity, though,and the temptation to create variations on it is a powerful one, one, because simply repeating it over and over is a fairly barren exercise, and two, because it is so clearly open to any number of variations, calculated and improvised. As a result it is a very easy tune to personalise,
and it is listeningto the way good musicians interpret Soldier’s Joy that can make it a constant joy both to play, to listen and to dance to.

Setting x:9

I learned this tune from Glenn Weiser, I’m not sure how authentic it is but I love the flow and especially the B part is quite a bit different than what already had been posted.

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