Blue Eyed Stranger reel

Also known as The Blue Eyed Stranger, Blue Hydrangea, Blue-Eyed Stranger, The Blue-Eyed Stranger.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Blue Eyed Stranger has been added to 2 tune sets.

Blue Eyed Stranger has been added to 34 tunebooks.

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Three settings

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Five comments

Blue Eyed Stranger

Very popular (and ancient) Morris tune, found in most traditions.
Commonly known as the Blue Eyed Strangler.

The Blue Eyed Stranger shuffled into town
with his fiddle slung over his shoulder oh.
He seemed so shy, that he caught the maiden’s eye
but he proved to be much bolder oh.
He said I can dance the bagpipes.I can dance the jig.
I can dance the highest caper oh.
I can play a tune that will charm the singing birds
I’m the finest cat-gut scraper oh.

The Blue-Eyed Stranger

A tune that’s played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol (UK).

A Cotswold morris tune. This setting is very similar to the one used by the morris men at Headington, Oxfordshire, England.

Blue Eyed Stranger, X:2

The Old Swan Band’s setting (a cracker!) as found on their 2014 album “Fortyssimo”
T:Blue Eyed Stranger
D:Old Swan Band: “Fortyssimo” - (2014) - WildGoose, WGS407CD
S: - 3rd tune (not listed) in a set with “Devon Bonny Breastknot” & “Getting Upstairs”, starting at 2’40"

N:Also known, jokingly, as “The Blue Eyed Strangler” or “The Blue Hydrangea”
Z:Jem Hammond 8:7:2020
G3 D D2 D2|EFGB A2 GA|B2 d2 BAGF|E2 F2 E/F/E D2||
G3 D D2 D2|EFGB A2 GA|B2 d2 BAGF|E2 F2 G4|]
GABc d2 d2|edcB A2 A2|GABc d2 d2|B2 c2 d4 ||
GABc d2 d2|edcB A2 GA|B2 d2 BAGF|E2 F2 G4|]

Re: Blue Eyed Stranger

A search on the title on The Traditional Tune Archive produces 5 more variants.

Re: Blue Eyed Stranger

The tune, under the title “The Mill, Mill O”, with sweetly bawdy lyrics, was known to Robert Burns, who wrote to it “When Wild War’s Deadly Blast” in 1793, a variation on the recognition theme (see: “John Reilly” and others). The melody is also familiar as “The Soldier’s Return”, and as such was printed (slightly amended) by Nathaniel Coverly in Boston betwen 1810 and 1814. Unearthing the provenance of folk tunes provides countless hours of pleasure … hunting an innocent melody to its lair. I imagine an on-line thesaurus of musical motifs. If it exists, someone should post a link.