The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Sorry about the possibly confusing title.

I went through some of my tune books, and re-visited “Journey By Train”, a composition by Joe Liddy of Leitrim. Right from the beginning, the first three notes emulate the motion of a train moving along the tracks, and the alternating 5ths (“rocking bow”) seem to reinforce this “train on the tracks” sound.

Just an observation. A really good composition, imo.

Does anyone know of other examples like this, where the tune melody really matches the tune name?

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

One of our ex members used to say it was all in the mind and the tunes could be called anything.

However, I can think of quite a few.

Here’s another train tune to start off…. https://thesession.org/tunes/11638

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Tripping up the Stairs is quite musically onomatopoeic.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Danny. You just wanted to say ‘onomatopoeic’!

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Isn’t the Foxhunters meant to represent the horns, hounds, horses etc?

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Ok now I have to write The Tune That Doesn’t Sound Like Anything

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Tripping Downstairs, especially the second part. Also the High Level Ranters’ The Hen’s March feels very real with the way they start the B-part on the fiddle the first time around.
I can also think of one that does NOT match at all! On the Yetties’ album Folk Music of England, there is a tune called Go and Enlist, which I would have guessed to be a quick march, but which is actually rather slow.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Also, on the Battlefield Band’s album New Spring, there’s a tune called Farewell My Love, which is a slow air and which I feel really matches the emotion of sadness that the person’s love has gone.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Roaring Water by Altan is also on point

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

A few more that I can think of are Happy Days, The Happy Aunt, the Flying Wheelchair, and the Sportsman’s Haunt.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Maid at the Spinning Wheel, particularly the final part.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Pigeon On The Gate is one that makes total sense to me. You can hear the pigeon cooing at the beginning of the A part, and then there is more consternation in the B part, probably after the pigeon has been riled from its perch.

And I can’t let this go without mentioning Letting The Ranch Go Fallow, which was written in response to a particularly bad case of food poisoning. The first three notes are GAG, and the it all comes to fruition at the beginning of the B part. (Will Harmon wrote the tune for a friend of ours, sort of as a joke, but all the ‘urpiness’ aside, it’s a great tune!)

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

“Isn’t the Foxhunters meant to represent the horns, hounds, horses etc?”

That is the piper’s piece, ‘The Fox Chase’, which directly mimics those sounds. The Foxhunter’s Jig features somewhere in the piece (not sure if the Foxhunter’s Reel is part of it).

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

“One of our ex members used to say it was all in the mind and the tunes could be called anything.”

As I recall, he also said “scales are just crap tunes”. I did smile at that one 🙂

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

There’s this one: though the various alternative titles involving bugles fit the “fabric matches remit of tune” better than “Lady on the Boat”: https://thesession.org/tunes/1225
As far as tunes that sound like trains go, I would vote for the Tongadale Reel, tho’ AFAIK, no trains ever go through Portree on Skye, where there is a Tongadale Hotel!

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

@Theirlandais - That little fellow is mighty!

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Yes, it’s truly brilliant. Anybody got the notes?

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Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

How about ‘The Spey in Spate’? -All that fast tumbling water!

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Gobby, I don’t have the notes but it could very well be the 23 part version by Finbarr Dwyer.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Today, I have listened to Altan’s playing of The Spirits of Wine and think that fits this too, very joyful!

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

There are a lot of cuckoo tunes. From the Bonny Cuckoo of earlier Irish music, which some say Si Bheag Si Mhor is based on , or an earlier piece. to some novelty types from later manuscripts like the Cuckoo in O’Farrells all the way to the Cuckoo Waltz from Scottish Dance bands and a really nice one from Mairtin O’Connor.

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Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

There’s also Da Mill which Tom Anderson describes as the sound of the mill , I can hear it in this tune.

There are old reports of “talking chanters” . Molly Put the Kettle On . The chanter “saying words”. I think here it’s just a good tale and the listener fills it in in their ears.

Also The Old Man Rocking the Cradle on pipes and fiddle with both baby cries , effects on chanter and key used on fiddle.

And then of course the descriptive pieces for pipes and fiddle.
The Fox Chase , Battle of Knocknuss/ Alistrum,
Battle of Aughrim.

I don’t know much about pibroch but I believe there are descriptive elements in some as well.

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Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

I really like how ‘The Kid on the Mountain’ really feels and sounds like a trip up a mountain. From early morning start to the feeling of ‘this is easy’ all the way up to ‘nope, I was wrong, it’s a hard climb’ to the euforia of reaching the top

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

If you watch your fingers on the flute while playing the Rolling Wave you can see how appropriate the name is.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

I agree with @dunnp, also Doon Da Rooth which is paired with Da Mill on the Silver Bow album.

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

I have heard stories about The Battering Ram (rhythmic A as the eponymous ram is applied, B as the roof starts to fall, C as everyone stands around looking at where their house used to be) and The Cook In The Kitchen (Sad A part with Fnat as the cook is sad that their family don’t have enough to eat, happier B part as the cook looks around at all the food in the rich owner’s kitchen, upbeat C as there’s some redistribution of wealth). Both seem to make sense - no idea about the veracity!

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

That seems to be a similar kind of thing as The Contradiction Reel. So I’ve heard said anyway. As in the third part which goes up and up and up. That bit is meant to be a man and wife arguing. The guy who told me that is tune collector and publisher so he must know something…..

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

Steam Train to Mallaig on pipes. A nicely executed version on Youtube you can almost feel the wheels turning and the wind in your face sticking your head out the window. https://youtu.be/YbRjfLc4_ew

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

I’ve always liked Growling Old Man And Cackling Old Woman. Sounds just like us!

Re: The fabric of the tune which best matches its name

‘The Steampacket Reel, you can even do a kind of ChooChoo on two d’s in the 2nd part’

Strange thing for a boat to do.

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