This tune was composed by Barry Goodman and it comes from the Morris tradition. I first heard the tune when several members here mentioned the band Morris On as being an early influence in getting them into Irish and Folk music on a thread a while back.
It reminds me a bit of ‘Pride of Petravore’, a favorite at our session, and seems to lend itself to variations nicely.
I am attempting to get in touch with Mr.Goodman to let him know that I have submitted his tune, and will update this thread if I hear back from him.
Barry got back to me and this is what he had to say -
Thanks for getting in touch about Four Up. I’m delighted to hear that it’s now on the "The Session" website - and that the "folk process" has altered the tune slightly from the original (that’s a good thing!).
The main thing is that it gets played!
X: 2 “Four Up” ~ e harmonic minor
What was that? 8-) I really enjoyed playing this, but, as you can see, it did take me a few other places, but not out of harmony with the original, but definitely swung… Thanks for sharing this fun Cheeky Elf, and thanks to Barry for this particular lottery of notes, great shtuff! (~ just slightly under the influence of a ‘wee’ dram of Lagavulin! I do love Islay single malts…)
This would be a fun to dance to too, with a bit of bluesy harmonica in the mix and a bit of Tommy Hayes syncopated bodhran antics. I’ve no doubt the American contra scene will gobble this up.
Is there a story behind the tune and the title?
You know, for whatever reason I had assumed that four up was the name of a dance or something pertaining to dance, but I don’t know why. If you of all people don’t recognize it, then I’m guessing I’m off base with that. I’ve sent an email to Barry and we’ll see what, if anything, he has to say about it…
I think you’re spot on about the harmonica. The tune really sounds good on a reed instrument, I’m waiting for our piano accordion guy to really get his teeth into this one!
I really envy how you can shake a tune up! I always learn a lot from your variations.
That video was meant to start at the 6:36 mark. It seems to work if you click on the link, but not if you push the ‘play video’ button, or at least that’s what is happening on this computer.
Here you go ceolachan, per request. :-)
"The tune was written for the Outside Capering Crew. They were looking for a tune to go with their four-person bacca pipes jig; it needed to be sufficiently different to the "standard" bacca pipes tunes (we used "Greensleeves") and quite dynamic to fit the style of the dance! While the dancers were working out the dance at the end of Simon Pipe’s garden in Adderbury, I was noodling around with E minor chords and the tune just sort of happened! Thanks to the enormous expertise of my musical colleagues in the Crew, the tune kind of grew and grew; we recorded it on the "Grandson of Morris On" album with Ashley Hutchings and co, and it seems that a lot of Morris sides have taken it up as a dance tune, and it’s being played in sessions all over the place, including the island of Sark! (it’s in their on-line tune book). I recorded it on Life and Times’ CD "Where the Working Boats Went" with my musical partner Graeme Meek and it’s on a dutch CD called "Sample Sheet of the Free Reed", played by Mik Lammers.
Hope you enjoy playing it!
X: 3 “Four Up” ~ C: Barry Goodman © ~ for comparison & to promote the festival
Sark Folk Festival 2014 ~ July 4th - 6th
Festival Tune Book
Scroll down, it’s #36 under ‘Others’ = "Four Up" ~ C: Barry Goodman ©
I like it… I’ll have to see if I can find any of those recordings for a listen.
"Four Up!" and "Four on the floor" are phrases that have been used to call dancers up for a square or quadrille, two ways of saying " dancers up and on to the floor and form into four couple sets/squares for the next dance!"
It’s also in the Sark Folk Festival 2012 tune book:
Same, scroll down, tune #37 under ‘Others’ = "Four Up" ~ C: Barry Goodman ©
This is a fun tune! Thanks!
I’m glad you like it Suew!
I really like this version, though my my original transcription doesn’t fit it very well.