The architypical Northumbrian tune
Great choice. This is the most Northumbrian tune of them all. Of course its a rant and not a polka and it is played regular at sessions and at ceilidhs throughout theNorth-east to this day.
James Allen is known to have played this as part of his repertoire a couple of centuries ago.
The limited range is because it is a pipe tune; you can get it on a simple open chanter. You can also invent loads of variations - which is generally done when its played up here.
Angels of the North
It’s a common tune for the nspipes, but I think it’s more likely to be Scottish originally. It appears in all the early Scottish collections (as far back as the 1700s) played as a sort of march/reel in A/Amix.
It is also a very nicely arranged GHB strathspey.
This tune seems listed as "The Bonny Boy" in O’Neill’s. Simon Thoumire does a great job with it on concertina.
The Scottish setting is more complicated in the B-part. I agree with celticrichie that it sounds great as a GHB strathspey, and it’d be good as a highland fling too. In fact you could play it as a fast single reel if you simply speed up and straighten out the rhythm. I’ve transcribed a standard Scottish setting below. * denotes Scotch snap, since the left arrow messes up the script:
T: Because He Was A Bonny Lad
|:d|c>BA>a (3fga e>c|d*fe>c B2B>d|c>BA>a (3fga e>c|d*fe>c A2A:|
d|c>BA>c d>ef*d|c*Ae>c B2B>d|c>BA>c d>ef>g|a/g/f/e/ a>c A2A>d|
c>Ae>A f>Ae>A|c*Ae>c B2B>g|a>fg>e f>de>c|d*fe>c A2A||
Suppose Amix would’ve been more accurate. Never mind.
Known as a 6/8 in my parts, but with a different high part. One strange title… "Nancy Fat"
Singer/songwriter Jez Lowe plays this after his song gatineau girls on the galloways album.
This was the first time I tried, so don’t be too hard. If corrections are needed let me know. Original setting is in A major. This is more whistle friendly. With the A whistle it should be in tune with the original tuning.
Re: Because He Was A Bonny Lad
A version similar to how Kathryn Tickell plays the tune.