Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

Not having played the Music as long as many friends here, I often am blissfully unaware of traditions/protocols/conventions and such handed down since the dawn of Traditional Music time. Maybe a sign of arrogance, I am at the point of actually thinking about stringing tunes together in sets, rather than playing and then jumping into the next tune that comes to mind.

After hearing a 12 year old prodigy, Liz Carroll, Jackie Daly and John Williams play several tunes individually or in some combination unbelievably- Galway Rambler, Bucks of Oranmore and Foxhunters I thought I would learn them.

So I learned them, got them to speed, amassed the courage to play them one evening in session, got through GR and Bucks passably, changing one tune into the other smoothly… And the session leader stopped when I went from Bucks into Foxhunters…….. Later I was quietly counseled that playing Bucks into Foxhunters signals to people the evening is ended. I never knew that. Any anecdotes about certain tunes send signals to player?

Does anyone play any of these together, and what gets played with Foxhunters and when so that the other musicians don’t reflexively pack up and leave me alone with the punters?

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

"Later I was quietly counseled that playing Bucks into Foxhunters signals to people the evening is ended. I never knew that."

Tell ‘em to get out more.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

"playing Bucks into Foxhunters signals to people the evening is ended."

That’s certainly a local tradition.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

That’s the most subtle way of signalling the end of the evening that I’ve ever heard of. Round here the landlord rings a little bell, then his wife starts throwing punters out onto the pavement.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

This has been the case at a few sessions I’ve been to, especially those in Kerry. Foxhunters either in G or often in A, or starting in G and stepping up to A to give it a little juice. Nice way to end a night, rather than the petering out that often happens.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

Sounds like the people in your session need to get out more.

If someone told me, "You can’t play the Foxhunter’s until the *end* of the session," and this rule was so rigid that people would sit out the tune, I would probably avoid aforesaid session in the future.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

I’m with the DrSilverSpear. Pretty uptight session being described…

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

Now that I think of it, I may have played Bucks into Foxhunter’s during Willie Clancy week - it was a typical reaction to the landlord ringing the bell:
-Oh, please, just one more set? One for the road…?

…and then cutting lose with two multi-part tunes. :D

In our sessions (which are as rare as hen’s teeth) we usually save Inisheer or some other nice and slow tune till last.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

Doesn’t sound like anyone was unpleasant or rude to Damian, or said "you can’t" - they just had a nice local tradition of ending their session with that set and told him about it. That’s no reason to go off in a huff.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

There is a session in my locality that plays Boys of Malin into Gravel Walks for the final set of the evening as a tribute to a former session leader.

Individual session tradition within traditional music, nothing wrong with that. The only thing that would be wrong in the OP’s instance is if they were to again play the tunes mid-session after having previously been told the deal with those tunes.

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Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

I’d say that sitting out a tune that a visitor started, one you know perfectly well, because they unknowingly played it at the wrong time in the night is a passive-aggressive way of saying ‘you can’t.’

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

I agree with you there, DSS, no one should expect a fresh face to know the craic at their first appearance, so a gentle word is all that’s needed, rather than cold-shouldering if that’s what happened…

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Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

I hadn’t heard of the specific formula of Bucks into Foxhunters being needed to open the portal into the other dimension, the one called "outdoors". But I remember Seamus Ennis concluding a concert at the Florence Folk Club in London in 1974, saying something along the lines that no other tunes can be played after The Bucks of Oranmore.

I’m always interested to discover the hidden truth behind claims. For example many religious requirements, e.g. eating fish on Fridays, were probably spawned by early nutritionists, or maybe fishmongers. Perhaps the hidden truth here is that, by the time we’ve drunk enough Guinness to think we can get through the Bucks and the Foxhunters unscathed, it’s definitely time to be heading home?

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

I’d heard about the Bucks being used as a final tune at some sessions, but never the Foxhunters. But I like the idea of ending the session with a tune everyone knows, so that all can join in.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

<Tell ‘em to get out more.> roflol Tom.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

I and some people I know around here will play The Parting Glass to signal the night is done.

Sometimes going into The Silver Spear after. I think this is a purely personal/local thing.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

If you begin (& end) the session with Bucks & Foxhunters you might get in The Book of World Records ~ World’s Shortest Session. 🙂

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Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

Was it Will Harmon that wanted written on his headstone "Ah so it’s the Bucks, then, is it?"

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

I know one player whose name I will never, say it with me, never divulge who says that whenever a session ends with "the Bucks" he must play one more because if he dies on the way home he doesn’t want that to be the last tune he ever laid his hand to.

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

This might be a better one to extend the evening if you get the cut-off gesture from the landlord: https://thesession.org/tunes/12926 (not that I am expressing approval of the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!)

Re: Tune Order and the Universal Unspoken Significance of The Foxhunters Reel

That was funny, "universal unspoken significance" my foot. As a band, we sometimes end a night with The Foxhunters (Slip Jig) into The Foxhunters (Reel) then into the Steeleye Span song "The Fox". It’s a good way to leave on a high. For "managed" sessions we’ll either end on a high with some crowd-pleaser reels or with a gentle wind-down via some slow air or song, all depends on who’s there. As I think it should.