The Blooms O’ Bon-Accord polka

Also known as The Blooms O’ Bon Accord, The Blooms Of Bon-Accord, Cocker’s Roses.

The Blooms O' Bon-Accord has been added to 4 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

1
X: 1
T: The Blooms O' Bon-Accord
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: E | c z c z | B/>A/B/>c/ A E | d z d z | c/>B/c/>d/ B E |
e2 =f2 |gf dB | A/>E/^D/>E/ c B |B2 A :|
G/A/ | BE e2 |dc B2 | c2 Bc | BA G>A |
BE e2 | dc B2 | c ^d/e/ ed | e2 d2 |
c z c z | B/>A/B/>c/ A E | d z d z | c/>B/c/>d/ B E |
e2 =f2 |gf dB | A/>E/^D/>E/ c B |B2 A |]

Twenty-one comments

The Blooms o’ Bon-Accord

A tune composed by J. Scott Skinner (from "The Scottish Violinist".

Written in 2/4 time, but not of course a polka - described in his book as being a "slow air" …

"Slowly and sweetly" Mr. Skinner says …

"Bon Accord"

"Bon Accord" = "Good Agreement"

- The motto of of the city of Aberdeen (Scotland)

Slow Air - or March?

Although the SV tunebook gives it as being a "slow air", it has the feeling of a march about it.

I had heard that the tune (and dance?) were written to honor Aberdeen’s winning a prize in the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition which would be post S.S.

"Manuscript in Skinner’s hand. ‘Intermezzo "The Blooms of Bon Accord" J. Scott Skinner’. See JSS0191 for the Trio, which is probably the ‘Addendum -which see’ that he refers to. ‘The Blooms of Bon Accord’ is dedicated to Messrs Cocker, ‘Prize Rose growers, Aberdeen.’"

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/display.php?ID=JSS0190

Thanks for that, Weejie. It neatly explains both the alternative title and the Aberdeen association.

If my memory serves me correctly, back in the 1950s the BBC used an orchestral adaptation of this tune to introduce a radio programme.

I can’t remember the name of the programme, though. Could it have been a gardening programme, I wonder?

Alancorsini: "I had heard that the tune (and dance?) were written to honor Aberdeen’s winning a prize in the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition which would be post S.S. "

I’m afraid that you’re definitly wrong about that (see Weejie’s post).

But it’s maybe an adaptation of the tune that you are referring to (see my previous post).

Cocker’s is still going (despite Dobbies building a whopper of a centre a bit further down the Lang Stracht):

http://www.roses.uk.com/

Blooms - Cockers Roses, Aberdeen

I have three examples of their fine rose "Glenfiddich" here in my garden in west London!

All the best

Peter Jenkins

Peter Jenkins: "I have three examples of their fine rose "Glenfiddich" here in my garden in west London!

That’s interesting Peter - but I think I’ll stick with the liquid variety! 😉

Blooms of Bon Accord

Re: the post by Alancorsini on 20th August

Aberdeen first won the Best Overall Trophy in the "Britain in Bloom " competition in 1965
http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/community_life_leisure/parks_open_spaces/pos_abdn_in_bloom.asp

Aberdeen apparently won it several times.

The dance "Blooms of Bon Accord" (a four couple, 32 bar reel - with this tune suggested by the deviser) was published, Deeside Book 2, by John Drewry in 1971.
http://my.strathspey.org/dd/dance/584/

These two bits of information might be related.

FYI, via Wikipedia: James Scott Skinner - 5th August 1843 to 17th March 1927

All the best

Peter Jenkins

ps If these links work straight away it will be a first for me!

Blooms of Bon Accord

Weejie - did you spot that the B music of the Blooms manuscript through your link has four sharps, not three?

Changes the tune a bit, doesn’t it?

All the best

Peter Jenkins

@Peter Jenkins - My transcription was from the printed book, which had 3 sharps in the key signature and D sharp marked where necessary within the score.

The JSS manuscript has four sharps in the key signature and D Nat marked where necessary within the score.

So it’s just a differnce in the method of scoring, and it doesn’t change the tune.

Your links worked, BTW.

Blooms of Bon Accord - the JSS manuscript

The D in bar 2 and bar 6 of the B music should both have natural signs but none is shown; the D in bar 7 is correct with its sharp (in the key signature) and in bar 8 is correct with its natural (which is written in).

My version of The Scottish Violinist shows the B music in four sharps, with no naturals for the first 2 Ds, just like the manuscript.

Interestingly in this version (on page 32 of the book) the A music is not repeated(i.e. just 8 bars), the B music is repeated (i.e. 16 bars) with a second-time bar with a D natural making a dominant 7th leading (via a DS and an S, which would seem to be the wrong option; a DC would be better - as used by Skinner in the manuscript) back to the key of A for 8 bars thus making the full 32 bars. This is different "geography" from the JSS manuscript.

BTW, I have failed to find a year of publication in my copy of the SV just B. & F. 307 (the publishers are Bayley & Ferguson Ltd of Glasgow) at the foot of each page so (I assume this is some sort of publication number).

However, Mix, you have posted exactly what I play: A music repeated with the end of the B music leading back to another A music via the dominant to get the full 32 bars. This appears to be the "commonly accepted version".

So, Mix… Does your SV have a publication date? Is it the same publisher (B & F)? Could it be a later version, in which the matter of key signature (and the related natural signs) has been resolved? Have we all been getting it wrong all these years and should we be playing the B music in E major? (No, I don’t think the answer to the last question is "yes").

?

All the best

Peter Jenkins

"Weejie - did you spot that the B music of the Blooms manuscript through your link has four sharps, not three?"

Yup.

"Is it the same publisher (B & F)?"

It will be. It always has been. The Scottish Violinist has hardly changed in all its years. B&F (Mozart Allen etc) is an institution that isn’t prone to much change. I doubt if the twa old wifeys are still running it though.

@Peter - my copy of SV is very old and dog-eared, and it doesn’t have a publication date.

The bit where we both think there should be a repeat mark is smudged on my copy, and it is impossible to tell whether it is a repeat mark or not.

However, I’m pleased to see that the abc that I posted corresponds with what seems to be the "commonly accepted version".

I’ll refer you to my earlier comment when I said that I thought that the BBC used an arrangement of the tune to introduce a radio programme back in the 1950s.

If I am right about that, could it be that the BBC arrangement has become the "commonly accepted version"?

All rather a mystery - but someone must know the answer.

Blooms again

More developments.. JC’s abc website has the D natural version
http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/tmp/Tune18460.pdf
so this, like some recordings which may differ from the "original", probably becomes the definitive version as it is readily found on the interweb-thing.

Just been chatting to a violinist friend (who runs her own SCD band); she plays the B music in E major with D#s and B7 chords. So the D natural version is not "commonly accepted" by everybody!

So is the B music Emajor or Emix, Mix? Or just in A, eh?

Does it matter? (except that D natural against D sharp at a session might be a tad discordant) Would this lead to rolled-up sleeves outside the pub?

And what about harmony (my left hand talking again)?

Is there more than one version/edition of The Scottish Violinist?

I have googled for BBC theme tunes from the 50s but have not found anything (doesn’t mean that it’s not there, of course).

? (and remaining so, possibly!)

All the best

Peter Jenkins

The Blooms of Bon Accord

Coming to this rather late… This tune was published in Skinner’s Harp and Claymore Collection (1903?) and is rather expanded from the version in The Scottish Violinist.


X:989
T:Blooms of Ban-Accord, The
S:Book-Skinner, Harp and Claymore
Z:Nigel Gatherer
L:1/8
M:2/4
K:A
E | cz cz | B/A/B/c/ AE | dz dz | c/B/c/d/ BE |
e2 ^e2 | gfdB | A/E/^D/E/ cB | B2 A ||
K:E
G/A/ | BE e2 | dc B2 | c2 B>c | BAG G/>A/ |
BE e2 | dc B2 | cd/e/ ed | e2 =d2 ||
K:A
cz cz | B/A/B/c/ AE | dz dz | c/B/c/d/ BE |
e2 ^e2 | gfdB | A/E/^D/E/ cB | B2 Az ||
K:D
P:Trio
F/z/ A/z/ B/z/ A/z/ | dA f2 | d2 e/d/c/d/ | c2 Bz |
EGB^d | eB e>d | d2- d/c/G/c/ | B2 Az |
F/z/ A/z/ B/z/ A/z/ | dA f2 | d2 e/d/c/d/ | c’2 bz |
Be _B2 | Aa g/f/e/d/ | e2 Aa | d2- d E ||
K:A
cz cz | B/A/B/c/ AE | dz dz | c/B/c/d/ BE |
e2 ^e2 | gfdB | A/E/^D/E/ cB | B2 Az ||

Incidentally, in my copy of The Scottish Violinist the B part is in E major, and there is no repeat mark on the A part.