This tune, although it’s in 3/4 time like a waltz, is usually heard as a song— Battlefield Band, on their recording "Threads," has a wonderful version of it. If anyone wants to find the words, all one needs to do is type the title into an internet search engine and a bewildering array of different versions will appear!
Tramps and Hawkers
seems more like 6/8 to me,
Definitely, should be 6/8. Did Jimmy MacBeath not used to sing this?
It’s waltz-time . 3/4. It’s very commonly played for waltzes by Scottish Country Dance Bands. You can play it in 6/8 if you want to , but you’d be hard pushed to sing the song at that tempo. Yes, the late Jimmy McBeath did used to sing it, along with the Corries and just about everyone else in the 1960s/70s.
It’s a very common song melody. It’s used for the sea song "Paddy West" and . Ewan MacColl used it for "England’s Motorway", Dylan used it for "I Pity the Poor Immigrant", and I think it’s the tune Belle Stewart used for "Berry Fields of Blair". Apparently Richard Fariña also wrote a song to this tune. And it seems that the Irish song Seán Ó Dí also uses a variant of this tune.
"Berry Fields O’ Blair" is to the tune of "Nicky Tams".
Right you are! I might have figured that out if I had been able to locate the lyrics quickly.
The more the meter
my 6/8 reference is to the transcription as is. I think if it were to be in 3/4 then all the note lengths would be doubled.
I know it as "The Wind That Shakes the Corn" aka "The Homes of Donegal" in waltz time.
This piece exists in the Scottish Border fiddle repertoire as "Beltane Time". It is played as a 6/8 March. Beltane is 1st of May and signifies the arrival of summer.
Here’s a transcription based on the Borders Young Fiddles’ recording, played in D — they play it in a set with Kelso Bowling Green, We’ll A’ To Kelso Go, and Rattlin’ Roarin’ Willie, all of which are played significantly faster than this one.
DE|F2A FED|E2F D2B,|A,2B, D2E|D4 FG|
A2A FGA|BdB AFE|D2E FED|B,4 FG|
A2A AFA|BdB AFE|D2E FED|B,3 D2E|
F2A FED|E2F D2B,|A,2B, D2E|D6||
That transcription is similar to the version in J. Murray Neil’s Scots Fiddle Volume 2, except that Neil’s version uses 16th notes.
D/E/|F2A FED|E2F D2B,|A,2B, D2E|D3 z2F/G/|
A2A FGA|BdB A2F/E/|D2E FED|B,3 z2G|
A2A AGA|BdB A2F/E/|D2E FED|B,3 z2D/E/|
F2A FED|E2F D2B,|A,2B, D2E|D3- Dz2||
This version may be from Thomas Calvert’s late-18th-century "Collection of Marches, Quicksteps, Strathspeys and Reels", which is noted in a footnote on Neil’s transcription of Kelso Bowling Green on the same page — but he doesn’t source the Beltane Time version directly.