Bangers & Mash

Bangers & Mash

You know, old shoes ~ those tunes that you just can’t shake, that have been with you for ages, that you might even be made to feel some embarrassment about, around certain folks. Maybe it is the first few tunes you ever learned? Go on, list a few, you could even do better than me and say why it is (or they are) permanently branded in your memory, or why you won’t let go…

This at least deserves a start, so I’ll start, listing just a handful of examples that I’m sure will, if we are so blessed, pass over with me to the other side when I die:

The Varsovienne, alias "Shoe the Donkey"
"Sonny’s Mazurka"
"The Ulster 7-Step"
"Peggy’s Jig"
"The Frost is All Over"
"Con Cassidy’s" 😉
"Calum Crubach"
"The Harvest Home"
"Some Say the Devil is Dead"
"Soldier’s Joy"
"The Centenary March"
"King of the Fairies"
"The Three Sea Captains"
"Rolling in the Ryegrass" (fling & reel)
"St. Anne’s"
"Mrs. Kenny’s Waltz"
(etc…)

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John Ryans
Egans
Harvest Home
Dicey Reilly
Monto

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teetotaller
rights of man
blarney pilgrim
madam bonaparte
reel beatrice
amazing grace
cup of tea
indifference…..

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Mr. C. it may be easier for me to list the newfangled tunes I play. I seem to have lifted the majority of my repetoire from the most commonly bog-standard tunes possible. When the fairies abducted me and taught me tunes, they were snickering and laughing hysterically about ‘the hotshot kids with the groovy new tunes are going to HATE this guy!’

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Oh, the Britches Full of Stitches!
Davey Davey Nick Nack, Davey Davey Nick Nack…
Pinch of Snuff (which, after six and a half years, I still cannot say I have mastered)

and there’s more…..

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good question…
my early days of discovering trad were in the early-middle seventies. of course the Bothy Band, Planxty, the Chieftains, the boys of the Lough were a major influence. My early mentor was also into a more archaic, and to my mind, more deeply traditional element of the music. He introduced me to Na Fili, Johnny Doherty, Micho Russell, Padraic O’Keefe-a wonderful recording I can still hear in my memory called "Music from the Kingdom of Kerry" with Julia Clifford, Dennnis Murphy,and Johnny O’Leary. I was mad for the Kerry stuff in those days.When i started learning the whistle, my first "real irish" tune was the Staten Island Hornpipe. I can still play it, though i never do. And I haven’t heard anyone else play it in a long time either. As for the Kesh Jig, i learned that one a long, long time ago too. I still play it if called upon to do so, and have heard it played zillions of times over the years. But, because it was learned sitting with my mentor- him playing it on his fiddle and me repeating the tune ‘til I had it- the Staten Island is the one that still delights my mind. The Kesh, which i learned from a record player, seems more mundane by comparison
cheers, pipewatcher

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I must have been abducted by the same pack of aliens SWFL - my ear is drawn to the standards, the ones most likely to be groaned at by the "played in every session" vets. Although, that being said, if I never heard/played Harvest Home again I would not lament it’s passing. Shame on me, I know…

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We have always played Mairies Wedding and Spanish Lady as a set of polkas and I absolutely HATE THEM.

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I think I’ll just go through those lists and learn the ones I don’t know or know well. I like the sound of them

I can’t really remember what tunes I learned first as it was a long time ago, but I remember teaching myself to read music from the first page of "Kerr’s Merry Melodies vol 1" in the 1970s by decoding "Soldier’s Joy" which I could play already. Of course, learning to read the dots completely ruined my playing, which was just brilliant before.

I did think Ceolac’s post might refer to this tune:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf6Bgqna4GI

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Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Wor Geordie’s Lost His Penker
Dancing Queen
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
The Repton School Song
The Sexual Life Of The Camel

These and other oddities have deeply scarred my cortical matter: in some cases, for ever, not for better, as Lennon put it (it *was* Lennon there, wasn’t it?).

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Pipewatcher - would you believe it, someone ( a newcomer) actually played Staten Island at our local session yesterday evening. Puzzled looks from most of the younger contingent, but us old stagers were able to join in, rediscovering this favourite of yesteryear in the process.

I hadn’t heard it played for donkey’s years. All our local ceilidh bands wore it out, back in the 1970s. The box players just loved giving welly to those four C nats in the "B" part …

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Of all those on your list, Ceol, I’ll vote for St Anne’s - popular many years ago, and still popular today. I never start this tune myself, but I always enjoy joining in with it.

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Brilliant, Mix. i guess i’ have to fire it up again too!

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Boys Of Blewithill

Off To Callaforeiger

The Kesh

The Flutterby

Silver Smear

Greggs Pips

Homely Ruler

Connaughtman’s Rubles

Lurk in the Morning

All fine tunes I have had enough of for awhile.
But they will be back, magically renewed again, someday,
like all good music.
Cool, eh?

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Straddle the Pony, the Nine Pints of Yoghurt, and the Pains of Boils
sorry…

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I have to say that in many sessions I’ve been in, the older and more confident players are more likely to play the old "chestnuts" in a set than the newer and more anxious to impress ones.

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Oh man, don’t list any more please. I won’t have a repertoire soon

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Hup! ~ 😀

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I forgot:

Puff The Magic Dragon

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Shoe the Donkey is a fantastic tune. No-one who calls themselves a traditional musician would ever deny that.

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I envy those of you who grew up with this music. I never heard of any of these tunes, even something as common as the Kesh, until a few years ago.

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soldiers joy
staten island
bannish misfortune
connacht man’s
darling’s a sheep
farewell to connaught
old favourite (naturally)
o’keefe’s slide
stenson’s no.2

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I deny it.

Nothing should be unanimous,
that’s dangerous thinking.
😉

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i have to add; tripping up the stairs — my 1st concertina tune, and my epitaph when the time comes.

mutatis, i agree abt shoe the donkey. the riley school of irish music website has a hilarious and sweet setting of this some where in its tunes section, from a few years ago.

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"Bangers and mash
"Macarone
"Bangers and mash
"Minestrone
"Well, give us a bash
at the bangers and mash
me muvver eustta make !"

(Mustav bean the ‘Life and Death of Peter Sellers’ on tv the other night that reminded me ).

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or maybe it was the link to that song I already posted up there ^ as the 9th reply

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Great, so we all suffere a similar madness… I see others I’d add to my list, and thanks for the memory too ~ the song Bren & Guensey Pete…

We love sausage and mash here, which includes Dublin Coddle, mmm, mmmm…

So one ‘why’ ~ "Shoe the Donkey" ~ we’ve run into some version of that melody and dance pretty much everywhere we’ve rambled, several continents, and it was one of the first lot of tunes that ever took hold of me. I always get a kick out of playing it… There is no accident to all the many names it is known by, including in other languages, or generally as some variant spelling of ‘Varsovienne’…

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Pigeon on the Gate
Gallowhill <(Played at my Dad’s wedding)
The Call To Dance <(played in Kirkwell, Scotland)
Mouth of Tobique
Harry’s Reel
Too Many Notes <(First Richard Wood song I learnt)
Louis Riel Reel
Soldiers Joy
Catharsis

I know there’s more! beyond me what the names are right now ;D

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Gulp! ~ Leroy Anderson’s Sleighride 😏

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Statin Island
The Girls That Count Bisto
The Creche
I Buried My Wife Except The Top Of Her
Morrison’s Jig
Tesco’s Jig
Lidl’s Hornpipe
The Heights Of Asda
……………….?

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Drowsey Maggie
Bridget Cruise Fourth Air
Carolan’s Concerto
Eamonn a’ Chnoic
Planxty Hewlett
Banish Misfortune
Flowers of Edinburgh
Katy Nora

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Yay to Kerr’s, Bren. In the days, mid-late? 70’s, I had this brand new fiddle given me and didn’t have a clue about anything except that I wanted to play it. I bought Kerr’s Irish Melodies (still have it) and tried to teach myself The Minstral Boy … can still hear it dar dar dee dum dee dar dee dum dum dumb … but I didn’t even know the notes then or how to tune the fiddle or anything … but I recon I know that tune and every tune in "A Tune a Day, Book 1" that I also tried to teach myself from … sigh! My first Irish tune was/is Jackson’s Favourite Yay! … and first reel The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Still try and play them in senior moments … but then I haven’t progressed far from the bangers and mash, and they make a yummy breakfast..