Decade of anniversaries

Decade of anniversaries

I have been asked to perform a set (about 10-15mins) at a commemorating concert themed around decades etc.
I have been allotted the decade between 1911-1921.
I was looking suggestions of tunes (and songs) that perhaps had references to World War 1, 1916 and war of independance?
Hit me with your best shots -obvs Green Fields of France and Grace are quite obvious. I’d love to have a few things that have some decent background but abit less obvious.

Many thanks in advance
Mary Mc

Re: Decade of anniversaries

Welcome to the discussions page !

Songs you might consider could include The Galtee Mountain Boy, James Connolly and the like, and maybe The Band Played Waltzing Matilda if you want a more international feel, but the choices may be governed by the type of audience you expect.

Many tunes were written referring to events of the First World War: you could try The Battle of the Somme and The Bloody Fields of Flanders amongst others

Re: Decade of anniversaries

As you play fiddle:-

Reels: The Flying Column/The Gun in the Thatch

Re: Decade of anniversaries

How about Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire for WW1? It goes well with concertina and is a bittersweet review of the differences in experience of the war depending on your rank.

Re: Decade of anniversaries

don’t forget the Titanic might be good a a joke. (for 15 seconds or so)

Re: Decade of anniversaries

the joke being the Celine Dion song, not what happened, there must be some traditional Titanic songs though..

Re: Decade of anniversaries

Really appreciate the suggestions. Keep them coming!!! I am working with a group of younger but very capable musicians who will be playing with me. Titanic coulld absolutely be incorporated. Its a big decade to have -but good challenge

Re: Decade of anniversaries

You could just play what you like and give a made-up name that refers to the decade. I doubt anyone in attendance would know that the name is invented. And given the relevance of names, your "fake" name might be as appropriate as any real one.

Re: Decade of anniversaries

These are the tunes played in Titanic the movie during the “party in 3rd class.”

Blarney Pilgrim
John Ryan’s (or Sean Ryan’s) Polka
Kesh jig
Drowsie Maggie

Happy, doomed people:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vaU0o52Hy2g

Re: Decade of anniversaries

I seem to remember Rakish Paddy too featured in the Titanic movie - and Leadbelly wrote a song’ Titanic Fare Thee Well’ - might be worth looking at

Re: Decade of anniversaries

The Titanic song that really grabbed me when I first heard it being sung in a pub in Dublin is Johnny McEvoy’s "Ballad of John Williams": it’s quite clever in that it never mentions the word "Titanic" but builds a picture through the verses so that by the middle of the last verse you’re in no doubt what it’s about, whereas in the first, it is "just another emigration song".
It’s on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/jOX5wIeKEcw

I have the lyrics if you want them: doesn’t need too many chords on guitar either!

Re: Decade of anniversaries

I appreciate the suggestion about inventing the names to suit. I have done this with manys a wedding, and also made a christmas link between a set with the spotted dog and the cats meow saying "there is a hidden message in that one -cats AND dogs are not just for christmas" so I am all about the tenuous links for performance banter. But if there were genuine tune choices I would so invest the time in doing it sympathetically.
You guys are ace coming up with all these tunes. Its class. I Will definitely run them through with a few of our group and see what works with our instrumentation and abilities - but if anyone can think of any more keep er lit thanks again

Re: Decade of anniversaries

James Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’ was first published in 1914, well within your decade. The final story, ‘The Dead’ uses two grand Irish songs at pivotal moments: ‘Donal Og’ and ‘The Lass of Aughrim’.

In John Hustons film ‘The Dead’ closely based on Joyce’s story, ‘Donal Og’ is not sung but spoken in the translation by Lady Gregory.
https://youtu.be/dgl-28nYB2Q


The sung version of Donal Og in English, in different translation, is here:

https://youtu.be/1PF-CN1nF3Q


And if you want the Irish, this is it:

https://youtu.be/-0djbHCIdlA


The other song is ‘The Lass of Aughrim’. It too features in Huston’s film.

https://youtu.be/I1CP5Lz2iHE

Re: Decade of anniversaries

I’m not sure who your audience will be or where they will be, but the end of the Home Rule movement (There a hornpipe of the same name) and the Black and Tans were also quite active in this period and everything leading up to 1922… .

Two great powerful songs
The Foggy Dew https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35CBWwy98nc

Óró sé do bheatha abhaile (Padraig Pearse changed some words) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Sje2VYw99A


Another song
Come Out ye Black and Tans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJv8QVRT09s

Re: Decade of anniversaries

https://thesession.org/tunes/15991

"Ceannt The Piper", a nice tune written by Charlie Lennon for the album, "Áille na hÁille – A Terrible Beauty – A Suite in Honour of the Heroes of 1916". Here it is, played by Charlie and Ronan Browne:

https://soundcloud.com/journalofmusic/ceannt-the-piper-ronan-browne-uilleann-pipes-charlie-lennon-fiddle


Éamonn Ceannt was one of the martyrs executed for the 1916 Easter Rising, and a musician also, hence the title of the tune.

Re: Decade of anniversaries

For Vocal tunes related to the 1916 Easter Uprising, there are many. The Foggy Dew, Wind That Shook The Corn, A Nation Once Again, James Connolly, and so on. For WW 1, Two Recruiting Sergeants, Long Way To Tipperary, and so forth. Really, it’ll depend upon whether you do stirring songs or maudlin songs. Willie MacBride highlights the carnage and that we never seem to learn our lesson when it comes to war.

Re: Decade of anniversaries

It would be interesting to know which ones you chose in the end, marymcil.

Re: Decade of anniversaries

There are at least 2 sets of words to the Battle of the Somme tune: one that Alex Campbell used to sing, then another set written by Gordon Menzies of Gaberlunzie around the time of the 90th anniversary, entitled "The Banks of the Somme". It’s a great tune.