Big Red reel

By Philippe Varlet

Also known as Danny’s Favourite, Philadelphia.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

Big Red has been added to 2 tune sets.

Big Red has been added to 38 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: Big Red
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:A,B,|CF~F2 {d}BAFA|ceef ecAc|B/B/B fB {d}cBfB|B/B/B fB {d}cBAE|
FA{d}cA {d}BAFA|cAef ecAc|B/B/B fB {d}cAec|{d}BAGE F2:|
|:AB|cf~f2 defa|ec{d}cB A3 B|ceef ecAB|cB{d}BA GBEB|
cf~f2 defa|ec{d}cB A3 B|ceag fecA|{d}BAGE F2:|

Eight comments

Any others?

Thanks for posting this one so fast!
Does anyone out there know of any other tunes written for Philadelphia and environs beside this one and Wissahickon Drive? I’m collecting “Philadelphia” tunes.

Didn’t Loudon Wainright do one about necrophilia (“They call me a necrophiliac, and I never even been to Philadelphia…”)?

Posted .

Check out some of Reavy’s tunes and tunes from Eugene O’Donnell. They both lived in the Philadelphia area. Also there’s a song written by Mark Knopfler called “Sailing to Philadelphia” on the album of the same name. Not trad but good song nonetheless.

Philadelphia reel

This fine reel was written by Phillippe Varlet and called ‘Big Red’.
While passing several sessions it lost its name and was named by the House Band Philadelphia Reel. AFAIK Phillippe is (was) French and lives in Washington DC area - so not that much connection to Philly 😉

Hello, this is Philippe Varlet, and I approve this ABC…

Yes, I composed this tune maybe 15 years ago or so, and named it after this big red fiddle I own. My friend Danny Noveck, also the author of very nice tunes, was playing it with some of his in New England, where it started to be performed by some of the contra bands. From there, the House Band got hold of it. As far as I know the latest recording of it is Winnie Horan and Mick McAuley’s “Serenade” (first track)--they didn’t have the right title either.

Hi Philippe. My daughter whis is a fiddle, loves this tune. It’s often played in Paris.

I was just looking this tune up as Big Red because I was listening to a version from a more obscure CD by Sue Sternberg and Sam Bartlett called “Belting You with Reels”. After having read the comments above it all makes perfect sense. Sue is a fabulous New England fiddler who has played a lot with Wild Asparagus among others. Her and Danny Novak are good friends as well. So her and Danny were probably playing it under the original name Big Red. Here is a link to there CD on CDBaby: