One of my local sessions sometimes has a “theme” for the evening – the idea being that at least one tune in each set played should be relevant to the theme (however tenuous the connection). It’s quite a nice idea , as it forces you to think “out of the box” and come up with tunes than you wouldn’t normally play.
This week’s theme was religion - so we played tunes that had priests in the title; (e.g. Father O’Flynn, Parson’s Farewell; tunes with churches in the title; (e.g.. Church Street; tunes with saints in the title; (e.g. Saint Anne’s Reel) etc, etc. Then someone mentioned that churches have bells, so we played a set which included Shandon Bells.
This idea prompted someone else to play a tune called “The Ring o’ Bells”, which I’ve just posted here. Apparently it’s a Cotswold Morris dance tune from the city of Lichfield, Staffordshire, England.
A very simple yet effective tune – and the title fits it perfectly.
The tune is played AB for the Lichfield morris dance:
Ring O’ Bells
I believe it’s the tune (or, a tune) to a song called Farewell Manchester.
Prompted by Nicholas’s comment, I’ve done a little more research …
Apparently this tune was originally known as "’Felton’s Gavotte" (having being composed (in Eb major) by William Felton in 1728 and given that title).
The tune is said to have been played when the "Young Pretender’s" army left Manchester in 1747 - hence: "Farewell Manchester"
I’ve found the lyrics of a song of that name which were composed by John Oxenford:
Farewell, Manchester, noble town, farewell!
Here with loyalty every breast shall swell.
Wheresoe’er I roam, here, as in a home,
Ever dear Lancashire, my heart shall dwell.
Farewell, Manchester, sadly I depart,
Tear-drops bodingly from their prison start.
Though I toil anew, shadows to pursue,
Shadows vain, thou’lt remain within my heart.
However, if this is the song to which Nicholas referred, it’s difficult to see how the lyrics would fit the tune …
Could probably sing it to the more "Victorian sounding" B part. But would anyone *want* to sing it ?
Well David, I’m not so keen on large cities. So if I were leaving Manchester, I might well be pleased to sing it … ;-)
… or Liverpool, come to that : "It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me .."