Flee As A Bird hornpipe

Also known as Flea As A Bird, Jim Mac’s.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

Flee As A Bird has been added to 43 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Flee As A Bird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B c>^c|: (3dba (3gfe d>^ce>d | B>GD>B, G,>B,D>G | E>cA>F D>cA>F | G>Bd>e d>Bc>^c |
(3dba (3gfe d>^ce>d | B>GD>B, G,B,D>G | E>cA>F D>cA>F |[1 G2 B2 G>Bc>^c:|[2 G2 B2 G2 ||
|: (3B^AB |g>ba>g f>ag>f | e>gf>e f>^d B2 | g>ba>g f>ag>f | e>gf>e f>^d B2 |
(3cde A>c (3Bcd G>B | (3ABc F>A (3GAB D>F | (3GAB (3DEF (3GBA (3GFE | (3DED (3CB,A, G,2 :|
|: e>f | g>ag>e f>gf>^d | e>Be>g b>ga>^a | b>c'b>a f>^dB z | b>c'b>a f>^dB z |
g>ag>e f>gf>^d | e>Be>g b>ga>^a | b>^dc'>^d b>^dc'>^d | b>c'b>f e2 :|
|: D>C | B,>DG>D B>DE>D | B,>DG>D B>DE>D | (3D^CD F>E D>=CB,>A, | G,>GF>A G2 D>C |
B,>DG>D B>DE>D | B,>DG>D B>DE>D | (3D^CD F>E D>=CB,>A, | G,>GF>A G2 :|
X: 2
T: Flee As A Bird
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:Bc^c| dbge d^ced | BGDB, G,B,DG | (3Ecc (3Ecc DBAF | GB (3dcB eBc^c |
(3dba (3gfe d^ced | BGDB, G,B,DG | (3Ecc (3Ecc DBAF |1 G>gdB G2 :|2 G>gdB G2GB |
|: A^GAB cDEF | (3GDB, (3G,B,D GBdg | e^deg (3faf (3def | (3gba (3gfe d3B |
(3cde (3ABc (3Bcd G>B | (3ABc (3FGA (3GAB D>g| (3dBG (3DEF (3GBA (3GFE |(3DED (3CB,A, G,4 :|

Eight comments

Tasty tune

I just heard this for the first time in quite a while from an old Jimmy Shand record. A graceful little tune, if a bit awkward. I’m still pretty shaky with the ABC thing, but I think this is the gist of it.

This tune is from Yorkshire if I’m not mistaken.Isn’t there a clog dance that goes with it?

Is this also known as Fleebird?

Quit groaning, you know you were thinking it, too.

Flee as a Bird

i ahev known this tune for decades and always thought it was northumbrian, though it doesn’t et played much up here.

From the structure its got to be a "stage hornpipe" for virtuoso performance by a an instrumentalist (fiddle or concertina) or perhaps for performance as a clog dance..

Its a good tune and worth perservering with.

Find it in Ryan’s

For the original sheet music, see Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1880s Boston tunebook reissued by Mel Bay, editor Pat Sky. Or Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes, which is most of the same work in reprint.

Fiddler’s Companion says this is a Lancashire clog dance. Also this regarding the title:

New York City researcher, writer and musician Don Meade believes the title is “from Psalm 11:1 (“Flee as a Bird to your mountain, thou who art weary of sin…”) and a hymn based on it.”

Don’t like this one much. Whoever wrote it seems to have stolen James Hill’s "riffs" like his classic (3dba (3gfe d… and patched them together in an incoherent mass of twiddles. It lacks the subtlety and well-thought-out structure of James Hill’s work imo. There must have been a lot of copycat tunes like this going around in the late 1800s when Hill’s work was popular.

Flee As A Bird

X:2 from James Morrison’s 78. The 1st few bars of the print version’s 2nd part are a bit like Granuale, the barndance Morrison recorded which I’ve also transcribed here. Maybe he was cobbling these tunes together from here and there?