T: Phillibelula All The Way
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Also known as Philibelula All The Way.
There are 2 recordings of this tune.
Phillibelula All The Way has been added to 2 tunebooks.
More properly classified as a Schottische perhaps, but as there is no such category here, so I’ve posted it a hornpipe.
Our ceildih band was out on Friday evening, and the caller asked for 16-bar hornpipes. So we "blew the dust of this one" (so to speak) and included it in the set - although we hadn’t played it for many years. Bringing this once-popular tune "out of its retirement" was surprisingly enjoyable.
My understanding is that the tune is English in origin, and that it was collected during the 1950s.
The title of it is something of a puzzle though: who or what is "Phillibelula " and what or where is "all the way" ?
Used for the Nottingham swing:
Libélula is Spanish for dragonfly or damselfly. Might be something in that.
Thank you, Weejie. The reason that I didn’t spot that it was here already here was that it has been posted as a "Barndance" - incorrectly so, in my view.
I don’t believe that there is a dance of that name. There is of course a DANCE called "The Nottingham Swing" but "Phillibelula All the Way" is not an alternative name for that dance, as claimed in your EFDSS link.
I not aware of any "set" tune for the Nottingham Swing, though tunes such as "Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose", "The Keel Row" and "Kafoozalum" are commonly used for it, as is (or was) "Phillibelula All the Way".
Interesting idea about Libélula being Spanish for dragonfly but who knows whether your’re right or not about that ?
"I not aware of any "set" tune for the Nottingham Swing,"
No, but the association is there because Sibyl Clark collected both the dance under that name and the tune "Phillibelula All the Way" and put the two together. From what I gather (and according to Pete Cooper) the tune is still used for the dance.
"but who knows whether your’re right or not about that ?"
I’m pretty sure that the Spanish word exists. The connection was not suggested as being "right" - just a possibility. It could even be a garbled title, like the suggestion of the meaning of Lilliburlero.
"No, but the association is there because Sibyl Clark collected both the dance under that name and the tune "Phillibelula All the Way" and put the two together. "
I don’t doubt what you say, Weejie. But if so, I maintain that this association was incorrect - the EDFSS was notorious for errors of this kind.
Certainly, the tune is used for the Nottingham Swing Dance - we’ve used it ourselves. But the tune is used much less often than it used to be - that was my point.
The tune I know as "The Cumberland Reel" or "Bunty’s Goast" (Tommy Armstrong song - he used the tune for Stanla Markit too) has many other names, including "Phillebelulah" and "Hilly-go Filly-go All the Way" - and also "The Nottingham Swing", It’s a 6/8 tune though.
So perhaps phillibelula has some connection with ‘hilly-go filly-go’. One could be a corruption of the other.
The 6/8 tune you mention is very old, and does indeed have many names - although I don’t believe that "Phillibelula All the Way" was ever really one of them (even though someone - probably Ceolachan - has assigned it as such here on the session).
However, I can see the musical connection, and It does seem likely that it may have been *derived* from it. I can think of other similar examples, e.g.
Orange anf Blue (strathspey)
Hot Punch (jig)
See number 8 in these notes:
"a corruption of the botanical name for Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria"
A tad tenuous, methinks.
From "Titchmarsh" it says …
… in that case, it’s probably named after that well-known Titchmartian fiddler, Phil E. Belula … 😉
If there is a question, we still do use this tune for Nottingham Swing here in the USA