As usual with hornpipes, this tune needs to be played with a certain "bounce". If you overdo it, though, it’ll just sound twee. The trick is to play it with a different emphasis than you would play a reel but without going completely over to the "dotted" rhythm that you see in so many transcriptions of hornpipes.
I find the first part of this tune fairly bland but the second part has a nice cascading sound that I like.
Far from Home
The second half is rather similar to the second half of ‘Far From Home’ is it not?
I see what you mean, Jakki, though I did’t realised that.
Is it only me who play the triplets (3DEF and (3def before the first part and the second part respectively?
Re: Leading notes
I do it do. And I usually put in some more of that stuff here and there… :)
Okay, need some help here — have someone who has played mainly Old Time and Bluegrass and English trad at our session, and she played a completely different B to this tune — it sounded kind of Scottish/GHB-ish to me. Anybody know what the story is with this different setting?
Aha! Never mind, I figured it out, she’s playing the Fireman’s Reel. :)
“The Fireman’s” ~ what Californian’s do to hornpipes ~
reel / hornpipe ~ to swing or not to swing
Key signature: A Major
Submitted on November 6th 2002 by Trevor Jennings.
I meant the plural ‘Californians’, but they can be a mighty possessive bunch too…
see The Sweet Flowers Of Milltown (barndance) and Tom Morrison’s (reel) for related tunes (obvious in the first part)
Origins of Off to California
Does anyone know (or want to make up) the origins of this tune?
Mary and Andrew MacNamara
Here is what they play on the fantastic album "Open Hearth" :
|:GFGB AGED|GFGB d2d2|egge dBBG|ABAG E2D2|
|GFGB AGED|GFGB d2d2|egge dBBG|1 A2G2 G2DE:| 2 A2G2 G2Gg||
|:gfeg fed2|edBd edBd|g3d edBG|ABAG E2D2|
|GFGB AGED|GFGB d2d2|egge dBBG|1 A2G2 G2Gg:| 2 A2G2 G2DE||
That’s it, more or less…
Origins of Off to California
Apparently (< Fiddler’s companion) O’Neill actually heard the tune in California, and published it under that name. There’s a very similar tune which is often called "Miss Johns(t)on’s Hornpipe" which seems to crop up not infrequently on both sides of the Atlantic (and Pacific - in Australia Harry Cotter of Schottishe fame recorded a scorching - if nameless - version). So perhaps the "California" name was just local until O’Neill used it. Certainly the words "Off to California" scan nicely with the 7th bar, so perhaps "Miss Johnson’s" acquired a song along those lines locally at some time. And then again, perhaps not!
well, why play it IN California, when you’re already there? Seems like it would have been written as a send-off for those heading there.
Played in A with an interesting ( ? not hornpipe) swing to it on this recording https://thesession.org/recordings/2951
Off To California, X:5
Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol, UK.
A tin whistle version here
Off To California, X:6
From a manuscript of Padraig O’Keeffe’s playing, as transcribed in an ITMA interactive score