A lively polka that is often played at one of my sessions, usually at the beginning as a warm-up by the concertina player. We pair it with an entirely different version of Bonnie Kate, which I’ll submit soon.
The tune as submitted is as transcribed from a recent tape of the session.
Correction. It’s not really a polka - it gets allocated into that category because it happens to be in 2/4. A box player at a session the other night, who is well into folk music of the British Isles in general, believes Harper’s Frolic is a very old tune, possibly 17th century.
The above mentioneD set was recorded by the New Victory Band a long time ago. I have not the all the names of the members in my head but there were Pete Coe (melodeon), Chris Coe (Hammond Dulcimer), Roger Watson Meldondeon), Helen Watson harmonium etc.,there was a tuba and a trombone in the Band as well. Great Album!1
What am I writing!!!!!!!!!???????? Hammered Dulcimer of course
Found in the "Ashover Book" of tunes and dances dated the latter half of the 18th Cent.
A cracking tune especially when played on a one row melodeon
Origin of Harper’s Frolic
This tune appears in Thompson’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances. Vol 3 ca 1773. I have yet to discover its origin. It’s at least 18th century and possibly older. A great tune. Makes you feel happy.
Version from Thompson’s
here it is
T: The Harper’s Frolic
|:A|FADA|FADd|cdec|d/c/d/e/ dA|FADA|FADd|cd ed/c/|d3:|
|:g|f d2 e/f/|g e2 g|f d2 f|e/d/c/B/ A>g|f d2 e/f/|g e2 g|fd ed/c/|d3:|
Re: Harper’s Frolic
A frolic was also a 18th/19th C word for a small stream. One of my ancestors lived at "The Frolic(k)" in Montgomeryshire.
Therefore the name could have been related to a stream or brook on somebody’s land.
Here is a reference c1839, courtesy of Google: