What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

This seems to be "stream of consciousness" threads time, so what the heck. At session(s) in your area, what are the absolute rock dependable standards that everyone can fall back on when a set has crashed and burned or there’s a dearth of creativity or tons of unknowns or whatever, knowing that everyone will join in and whoop it up for AND that everyone still enjoys instead of throwing drink coasters at your head for starting?

For us, I’d guess:

Maid Behind the Bar
Silver Spear (these two being once tired out, but now so little played that they’re basically new again)
Miss McLeod’s
Banshee
Sligo Maid
Rose in the Heather
Saddle the Pony

Gosh, there’s more, but I’d better get back to work…

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

It’s funny, I don’t know the names of most of the standard tunes from
the sessions around here, ‘cos I’ve usually learnt them by ear in
those same sessions. I dutifully ask the name of the tune almost
every time I’ve played along with it, but it just doesn’t seem to sink in. At
least it means that if someone says "do you know X?", I can say "yes,
probably" as the name rings a bell, even though I couldn’t start the
tune given the name, or name the tune having heard it.

Case in point, I probably know all of the above tunes quite well, but
I couldn’t start any of them if asked to, or even know their keys
(except… I have a feeling Saddle the Pony might be a A/F#m tune).

Oh well, the trials of a third rate memory.

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Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Gee, rog, that kinda limits your conversational range, eh? 🙂

Let’s see, the chestnuts up here in Helena (not exactly your typical session) would include (just thinking of reels at this point):

Silver Spear
Maid Behind the Bar
Wind that Shakes the Barley
the Annamaculeen Reel
Cooley’s
Drowsy Maggie
the Banshee
Dunmore Lasses
Brenda Stubbert’s
Toss the Feathers (several by that name)
Rogue’s Reel
Concertina Reel
Congress Reel
Cameronian
Boys of the Lough
Morning Dew
Mulqueen’s
Woman of the House
The Earl’s Chair
Star of Munster
Dick Gossip’s
Pigeon on the Gate
Mason’s Apron
the Scholar
Farewell to Erin
Gravel Walks
Jackie Coleman’s
Terry Teehan’s

for starters

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Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Ok Zina, I see what you mean - ie following on from conan’s ‘hijack’ thread. And I’m going to do likewise in a moment!
There must be some universal standards, like as you mentioned,
The Maid’s Behind is Bare
maybe also The Wise Maid, Sally Gardens, Morrison’s jig, My Darling’s a Sheep, The Kid on the Mountain Bike and so on.
My session mates are very patient with me as included in our standards are about half of the tunes I’m able squeak out of the box. These are: The Scholar, The Heathery Breeze, The Shaskeen, Reavey’s (The Hunter’s House), Kathleen Heihir’s, Calliope House, Frigid of Knock, The Dance of The Honeybee and, as a fun tune, and my cue to start a new thread, The Bluebell Polka.

Danny.

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

We never know their names ‘cause the’re never discussed.

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Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

…’cause they’re all morris tunes.

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

If ever stuck for a set, someone always starts one from the Foinn Seisiun books - with 74 sets to choose from, there’s never a problem here. Funnily enough the great majority of tunes already mentioned in this thread are included in the books so that this consensus thing on favourite tunes seems to be universal!

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Hmmm. Is there anywhere that The Maid Behind the Bar *isn’t* a good one to use, like somewhere that that poor old maid has been so overused that people won’t play her anymore?

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Where to start??!!!
aammmmm
Maid Behind the Bar!
Glen Allen
Green Mountain
Silver Spear
Copperplate (old)
Copperplate (new)
Kid on the mountain
Strike the gay harp …& the one that goes after it
Iniscealtra set…….
Paddy Taylor’s
Tatter Jack Walsh
Humours of Ballingarry
Humours of Tulla
a few Paddy Fahy tunes (many of the flute players go to the bar!)
any of the other Paddy O’ Brien tunes
etc …

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Lol, Mark, easy now. 🙂

So why do some people know names for most of the tunes they play, and other people hardly know any names? Is it personality—some of us are more compulsive about words? Or the culture of that particular session—some sessions just never use the names? In my experience, sessions with mostly experienced players don’t bother with the names much, but I assumed that’s because everyone already knows the names and the tunes themselves. Where the names come up, it’s usually because a tune is unfamiliar and someone asks what it’s called. Naturally, this happens more often at sessions with less experienced players.

That said, (and I know I’m biased toward the verbal end of the scale), it still strikes me as odd that even experienced players wouldn’t bother to talk about the tunes, and so would want to have the names as shorthand (instead of lilting a recognizable bit every time they need to identify a tune). Certainly most of the top drawer players I’ve run into *do* have names for the tunes they play, even if they’re just names of convenience and source—e.g., the name of the person they learned it from.

So….
some standard jigs and slip jigs in Helena include:

Tobin’s Favorite
Kesh
Lilting Banshee
Swallowtail
Blarney Pilgrim
Stan Chapman’s
Morrison’s
Kid on the Mountain
Fig for a Kiss
Snowy Path
Buried My Wife and Danced on her Grave
Monaghan Jig
Up in the Air
Bank of Turf
My Darling Asleep
Geese in the Bog
The Champion
Jig of Slurs
Swedish Jig (Arthur Darley’s)
Kerfunteun
Raod to Lisdoonvarna
Tenpenny Bit
Connaughtman’s Rambles
Munster Buttermilk (or is it Behind the Haystack?)
Lark in the Morning
Early WInter
Humours of Whiskey

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Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

? They all sound the same to me…

\())

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Afraid the poor old maid does not feature in our session, she’s been done to death and now shes tired and resting (hopefully about 10 years should do it) If we talk standard tunes at sessions it’d be things like
sweenys reel
Sweenys buttermilk
Man of Aran
The Up downy
Eel in the sink
Punch in the dark
Pidgeon on the gate (the nice version not the old version - its on John Blake, Lammond Gillespie and Mick Leahy)
Any paddy O’Brien, Vincent Griffith and Charlie Lennon tunes. And going through a bit of a calico stage as well.
and loads of others but I tend to only know the names of the tunes that really annoy me ie St Annes reel. ugh.

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Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Well, this thread is as good an opportunity as any to debut a new little featurette here at The Session. Forget Top Of The Pops, here’s Top Of The Tunebooks:

https://thesession.org/members/index.php/tunebook

It’s simply a list of the tunes that have been added to members’ tunebooks in order of popularity. There are no real surprises to be found at the top of the chart but I thought it might be a cute little addition to the site anyway. If nothing else, it goes some way to answering that frequently asked question "what are the most common session tunes?".

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Except that usually the only tunes in my book are the ones that I thought were unusual and cool! ;)

Very cool, Jeremy, kind of a fun thing!

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

That’s a great resource, Jeremy; thanks!

Thought I might mention also here (again) Alan Ng’s irishtune.info site, which indexes the repertoire featured on about 100 seminal recordings. It’s very useful also for locating a good version of a tune you want to learn; includes "the 100 Most-Cited tunes", "Most-Cited Albums," and "Most-Cited Tunebooks."

Alan’s site also contains a lot of other useful stuff, and links to the Madison Wisconsin Iroid scene—which seems to be a very cool place.

In addition, Alan’s a gentleman and a fine fiddler.

chris smith

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Looked at Jeremy’s list and thought "Glasgow Reel?" - Tam Lin… hmm. Hey Beebs when I get back to Oz we need to play that - I know it’s your favourite. Of the lists given above, I can’t see many that are played at all in our session. The only ones that appear with any regularity off the top of my head are Silver Spear, Sligo Maid, Rose In The Heather, Boys Of The Lough, Woman Of The House, Earl’s Chair, maybe Jackie Coleman’s once in a blue moon, New Copperplate, and the Old one (cause I make people play it), and the ones that bb mentioned but I wish the UDR would disappear - Beebs lose that tune pleeeze! The ones that have become standards in our sesh are more obscure. Maybe it would be nice if we brought out the oldies a bit more…

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Mark, one of the reasons our Montana session plays as many old warhorses as it does is because we’ve got a lot of people fairly new to the music. So it’s all new to them. We also play a bunch of less common tunes, including the likes of: One Summer’s Morning (strathspey by Dougie MacLean), Whistler of Rossleigh, I’m Sleeping and Don’t Wake Me, Shadows on the Lawn (by Rodney Miller), Wallop the Potlid, Snowy Path (from Mark Kelly), Sailing Through the Narrows (John McCusker), Tom Bhetty’s Waltz, Windbroke (Mike McGoldrick), 1st August (Donnogh Hennessy), a number of Donegal highlands and barndances, some gan ainms, a handful of tunes written by local players (Early Winter, the Hound of Ulster, Morris Jaffe’s), and a bunch more.

But these tunes tend to be introduced by the more experienced players, and to some extent they exclude others. To encourage participation, we mix it up as much as possible, and are not averse to playing the standards every week. I’ve noticed some of the veteran players rolling their eyes at the Kesh or Wind that Shakes the Barley, but almost always someone else in the circle has just learned those tunes and is beaming ear to ear at the chance to play ‘em in the group. That makes it worth every old familiar note.

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Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

When asked what the standards of the local session are, I was surprised someone didn’t say ….. Poor, bordering on Downright Low.

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

..in addition to what has been mentioned before:
Over the Moor to Maggie
Fred Finn’s
Hunter’s House
Mountain Road
Golden Keyboard
Fisherman’s Island
Floating Crowbar!
Maudabauwn Chapel
… and many more that I (still) have’nt learned the names of…

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Good point, Will. I don’t usually mind playing even the tired out ones with people who are just learning — they’re always so pleased to be playing in the group, and you’re right, that particular kind of smile really does make the millionth time through the Kesh worth it…!

Re: What are the ‘standards’ for your local?

Its relative tho - in our two main sessions there really arent that many begginers the standard is fairly high and we’ve all been playing for years and years, so its not that big a deal to play the standard tunes. On the other hand if there are begginers about I’m sure we would accomodate!

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