I learned this reel as a set of three: The Great North Run ‘86, The Dinnington Rant and the Durham Rangers. The start of part B is a real finger twister on my concertina!
This tune has somewhat classic hornpipe format - are you sure it’s a reel?
I almost hesitate to raise the subject, but this is the one [ the 2nd? ] of the 3 "Germans" on Frankie Kennedy & Mairead Mooney’s first LP on the "Gael Linn" label. It would therefore appear to be played as a "German" in Co. Donegal, rather than a reel.
I think this is the 2nd of the 2 Germans on "Ceol Aduaidh."
This is one of those tunes that started life as a reel, commonly played in Scotland and the North East of England. I don’t know much about the dances but I’d have thought it would be good as a rant also. I dunno, ask Noel cuz he knows more about all that stuff. In some places it would be considered as a sort of "sailor’s hornpipe", which is essentially a Scottish reel (played quite fast and with only the tiniest bit of swing if any). I can’t really remember but I think we used to play this for the Circassian Circle. These are very different to what I consider as "proper!" hornpipes which contain more triplets and a melodic line that leaps about a bit more. The Irish seem to loathe hornpipe part-endings in reels, so when tunes like this were taken to Ireland, they morphed into hornpipes or barndances (Germans).
BTW I’ve only ever heard this called "Durham Rangers". It sounds weird with the "the" in the title.
I’m learning a lot here - shows what happens when us new folks come stomping over the more informed toes :-) I thought the set sounded sort of hornpipish - see my comment on the dinnington rant.
i’ve heard this called ‘the merry durham rangers’ or just ‘durham rangers’,like dow.
the tune after this on the ceol aduaidh album is a belter tho.
this one is played pretty regularly at the cricketers’ ennglish session in greenwich.
Robin, if you want to simplify your transcriptions, you can get rid of the 1st & 2nd time repeats if you place your repeat barlines strategically (see below).
Instead of |:ag|fefg afdg|fefg a2gf|… we used to play a version at school that arpeggios down to A:
|:FG|ABAF A2de|fgef d2dA|BcdB ABAF|G2E2 E2FG|
ABAF A2de|fgef d2dA|BcdB ABAG|F2D2 D2:|
|:ag|fefg afdf|edcB Adfa|g2bg f2af|g2e2 e2FG|
ABAF A2de|fgef d2dA|BcdB ABAG|F2D2 D2:|
Reel into Barndance
Considering even "The Flowers of Edinburgh" has been played as a barndance in Ireland. I once tried to post "Davy Davy Nick Nack" as a barndance on this site.
Thanks for the pointer Mark - learning all the time :-)
Yes, this is a Rant and there is a good NE ceilidh band who call themselves The Durham Rangers after the tune. Because it is relatively easy to play/remember, the tune has travelled and it is quite common in Yorkshire and up into the Borders.
Away from home, folk flatten it out and it gets reeled but its a pretty boring reel. Similarly, if you go the otherway and play it as a snappy Tyneside hornpipe there seems to be something missing. If you play it over a brisk short, short, LONG beat, it should come over sounding pretty ranty.
The Angels don’t use this tune (yet) but the Belmont Broom Dancers did a routine which had a chorus based on early nineteenth century musket drill to this tune as the Durham Rangers were a volunteer militia raised during the tail end of the napoleonic wars.
“The Durham Ranger” is also the name of a salmon fly
"The Durham Ranger" was the name of an artificial fly devised for salmon fishing in Victorian times - one of various quite elaborately made lures of that era, works of art when well made: they may have gone out of use now, being expensive to make and likely to include feathers from endangered species. At least two prominent Durham men of the c19 - Canon Greenwell and William Henderson - are figures of angling history also, and will have used this fly on the River Tweed which they visited often: it’s a big-river, high-water fly. Having been an angler, I imagine this fly was devised for the Tweed, but don’t know who invented it.
Trout and salmon flies have regional characteristics like tunes, and inspire comparable loyalties, purism, you name it..!
Interesting info from Nicholas. I have the tune in a number of places as "The Duran Ranger", and according to George S Emmerson, "The Duran Ranger is a particular artificial fly used in angling for salmon. The tune and dance were collected in the Borders in the 1930s by Ian Jamieson of Galashiels, who collected all the dances in the so-called ‘Border Book of Country Dances." Of course we know the tune is much older than that, appearing in Kerr’s Merry Melodies (c1875) as "The Sherwood Rangers". It would be interesting to find out what the earliest use of the Duran/Durham title was.
This tune appears as an un-named, fairly fast un-dotted hornpipe on Ashley Hutchins opus: Morris On
It’s also on the Albion Dance Band’s "Dancing days are here again", which is why I came across it here in the first place!
“The Durham Rangers” ~ with swing as for a barndance / German / schottische
T: Durham Rangers, The
R: barndance / German / schottische
|: F>G |\
A>BA<F A2 d>e | f>gf<e d2 d>c | B>cd>B (3ABA F<A | B2 E2 E2 (3EFG |
A2 A<F A2 (3cde | f2 f<e d2- d>A | B>cd>B A2 A<G | (3FGF D2 D2 :|
|: (3efg |\
f>^ef>g a>fd<g | f>^ef>g a2 f2 | g>ab>g f>ga<f | e>^de>f (3efe e2 (3EFG |
A>B (3AGF (3ABA d>e | f>Ae>A d2 A2 | (3 Bcd c<e d>BA<G | F2 D2 D2 :|
| e>^de>f (3efe e2 (3EFG |
Oops! I forgot that open edit, a choice for bar 4 of the B-part, so here is just that bar corrected and with variations ~
~ | e>^de>f e2 (3EFG | ~
~ | e2 (3def (3efe F>G | ~
I have no idea if this would be regarded as traditional, but it must reflect a place and time.
Jack Armstrong Band http://www.folknortheast.com/archive/detail.asp?id=A1000008
Is that typical of the way in the north-east ?