Tunes and songs

Tunes and songs

I’d like to find a couple of good tunes that are also songs so that I can mix playing and singing - any suggestions?

Re: Tunes and songs

Probably better to work the other way round - find songs you like and which suit your singing style, then learn to play the tune.

Re: Tunes and songs

It might depend a bit upon what instrument you’re playing. I like this song by Full Set - "Half-hanged McNaughton". Not a lot of melody on instruments except for some breaks but there are five instruments to choose from. I’d choose the box, she’s just playing a few notes as drones. I could handle that!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI09QTlDWmE

Re: Tunes and songs

Are you only trying to limit yourself to song melodies that are also played as tunes? For me, one of the joys of arranging songs is to find tunes that complement the song (without being the same melody).

Re: Tunes and songs

"Feller From Fortune" / "Kilfenora Jig"

Re: Tunes and songs

Following up on Reverend’s point, our session does Step It Out, Mary with Ships Are Sailing between each verse. The combo rocks!

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Re: Tunes and songs

Ossian does a nice arrangement of Johnny Todd with Far From Home. The two melodies are quite similar.

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Re: Tunes and songs

Here’s a bunch:

- The Rocky Road To Dublin with its’ own melody for the intro/interludes, or, with Morrison’s Jig
- Green Grow The Rushes-O. Often sung and played slowly together, though, in Newfoundland it’s a polka with a few lyrics thrown in
- Lannigan’s Ball
- The Rollicking Boys Of Tandragee
- I’ll Tell Me Ma
- The Spanish Lady
- Marie’s Wedding
- Spancil Hill
- Wild Mountain Thyme
- The Bonnie Ship The Diamond
- Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye
- The Ballad of St. Anne’s Reel (interludes with St. Anne’s Reel)
- The Rattlin’ Bog
- The Galway Shawl
- Eileen Og/Pride of Petravore
- Fiddlers Green
- Sonny’s Dream
- The Town of Ballybay & She Said She Couldn’t Dance
- The Parting Glass
- Newfoundland polka/single Mussels In The Corner has a bunch of lyrics, usually with only one or two of the verses & the chorus sung, or none at all sung.
- Lukey’s Boat with The Staten Island Hornpipe
- Newfoundland waltz/song For Now I’m Sixty Four
- The Foggy Dew
- Red Haired Mary
- The Waxies Dargle & The Girl I Left Behind Me
- The Beetles song "Norwegian Wood", which has been played by some Irish bands (song/instrumental)
- I’se The B’y song & jig
- Joe Batt’s Arm Longliners (Newfoundland, both song & instrumental)
- Take Her In Your Arms (melody from The Otter’s Holt)
- The Little Beggarman

Re: Tunes and songs

Beetles?

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Re: Tunes and songs

Indeed.

The Navigator’s take on the song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7HSLYWGoyw


And Mithril plays an instrumental of it after The Cliff Of Moher. Have stumbled across a few other Irish recordings of it as well, though, I cannot remember the names of the bands right now.

Re: Tunes and songs

I was questioning your spelling not the band’s presence in your list.

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Re: Tunes and songs

Good catch. Regardless, I’m sure people would know what I meant.

Re: Tunes and songs

Out of interest, please name the Irish bands playing ‘Norwegian Wood’s.

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Re: Tunes and songs

"Out of interest, please name the Irish bands playing ‘Norwegian Wood’s". ….. I’ve never thought about it, but would be interested to see. When I first bought a so-called Irish "bouzouki’ I found ‘Norwegian Wood’ to fit the instrument quite naturally. So it’s interesting to consider how ‘outside’ tunes can still find their way into Irish ‘tradition*’. (* sure, given the word ‘tradition’ it’s seemingly contradictory, but tradition still evolves after all. Otherwise it would be dead!).

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Re: Tunes and songs

The Navigators play mostly Newfoundland, Irish, and Scottish songs, with a few tunes. Mithril play it as an instrumental. I consider both bands to fall within the Irish tradition.

And I had come across a few others bands, which would probably take me a while to find again. The former two are the ones I’m most familiar with.

Update:
After some quick searching with Google & YouTube, it was actually pretty easy to find several Irish/Folk covers of Norwegian Wood, and a bunch of home-videos of different people playing it on various Irish & folk instruments. Here’s a few different videos.

Alan Kelly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75inHYKmjlU


Jonathan Ramsey:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO6pMZP18jc


Leaping Lulu:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpUJjlIIGzA


There are several other recordings that shows that the song works well on various different Irish instruments, such as: mandolin, harp, whistle, concertina, accordion, fiddle, and bouzouki.

Re: Tunes and songs

Thanks for the suggestions particularly the long list of songs/tunes - St Anne’s reel is particularly one to start with- I know the tune. I play concertina and aspire to find something I can play and sing but given my difficulty in speaking while I’m playing a tune it will probably be a drone or chords while I’m singing then going into a tune. I don’t speak Irish gaelic but I do sing some Scottish gaelic songs in a group although not yet on my own in public and the words to jig runrig are way too fast although we have a gaelic speaker who occasionally will sing the words at speed particularly after a whiskey.
Interesting discussions about Norwegian woods although not sure if the singer who currently sings this would like a solo in the middle.

Re: Tunes and songs

I love tunes that have a verse set to them.
So here’s a bunch of tunes with at least some words. You might have to lilt e.g. the 2nd part of many of them.
Maggie in the Wood: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=polka&ref=19
If I Had a Wife: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slide&ref=3
The Hole in the Wall: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slip+jig&ref=8
Did You Wash Your Father’s Shirt: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=reel&ref=173
The Fair of Bellaghy: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slip+jig&ref=59
From Galway to Dublin Town: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=hornpipe&ref=95
The Frost Is All Over: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=jig&ref=206
Purty Molly Brannigan: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=reel&ref=150
The Hair Fell Off of Me Coconut: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slide&ref=63
The Irish Washerwoman: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=jig&ref=2
Love Will You Marry Me: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=fling&ref=2
Kitty Come Down to Limerick: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slip+jig&ref=76
The Leg of the Duck: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=jig&ref=157
Off She Goes: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slide&ref=10
The Recruiting Sergeant: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slide&ref=74
Shoe the Donkey: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=mazurka&ref=8
Wallop the Cat: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slide&ref=117
The Cat Jumped Into the Mouse’s Hole: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slide&ref=62

And some in Irish:
An Rógaire Dubh: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=jig&ref=149
Is Trua gan Peata ‘n Mhaoir agam: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=reel&ref=129
Na Ceannabháin Bhana: http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/display.asp?rhythm=slip+jig&ref=60

Re: Tunes and songs

Ian Davison had quite a funny one called "Room for us all in the Dance": it’s a song about ceilidh dancing, and mentions Phil and Aly (Cunningham and Bain respectively). The main tune for the chorus and verses is "Gin I were where the Gaudie rins", but there are snatches of other ceilidh dance tunes in between.
The chorus goes:
Wi’ Phil on te box and Aly on the fiddle,
Ye birl at the top and ye dance doon the middle,
And what she sees in him is a riddle,
But there’s room fer us a’ in the dance.

But I’m not sure from the original post if you are looking for that sort of mixture of tunes and songs? Otherwise I’d go with what Mark M said: find your song first, then play the tune.
Playing and singing at the same time is an acquired skill, taking, as ever, practice! And it’s a bit like driving a car: you have to be familiar enough with your instrument to be able to play it almost on auto-pilot while also remembering the words of your song. To that end, don’t make the instrumental accompaniment too complex, or it can distract from/get in the way of the song: if you want to play a fancy bit, save it for an "instrumental break" between verses.

Re: Tunes and songs

Apologies that I haven’t trawled the replies, but just in case ‘The Mountains of Pomeroy’ hasn’t been mentioned, here’s Niall Hanna with a beautiful rendition of same. Great stand - alone air too.
https://youtu.be/zmObuT-Neyo

And there’s something about a NrnIrn singer, especially on this particular one!