“The Stack of Oats” / “The Crossroads Ceili” ~ barndance
This is a crazy old tune. I’ve given it first very basic and then followed with a bit more notes, in particular triplets, in keeping with swung forms. With regards to the alternate title, dancing was often at crossroads when roads weren’t paved, as they were also held at bridges. The center area where roads crossed was always well packed and tended to be smooth, good ground for a dance, though none of the give of sprung wood floors. Also bridges, which is enough to realize they were made of stone and other robust material. These were also the least muddy of places as far as public surfaces. Another favoured surface was to build a temporary platform, in which case you might have some spring from the wood. The general unforgiving nature of most dance floors, in houses too, is in great part what lead to the styles of dancing in the contryside, low to the floor, after all the space was limited around the dancer and set too, and not a lot of bouncing up and down and heavy stamping, or as one old friend put it with regards to some modern practices ~ like worms on a hot rock…
Anyway, I like this old number and I hope some of the rest of you will too. It is fun to play and also fun to dance to…
“The Stack of Oats” / “The Shannon Waves” ~ a great set & recording
"The Shannon Waves Barndance"
Submitted on August 23rd 2001 by Mad Baloney.
Irish Dance Music ~ track 16
Submitted on February 12th 2005 by ceolachan.
Farewell To Ireland CD 4 (Of A Box Set Of 4) ~ track 2
Submitted on January 2nd 2004 by Aidan Crossey.
Philadelphia’s “Erin’s Pride Orchestra” ~ 1948
Tommy Caulfield - fiddle and band leader
Ed Reavy - fiddle (who later became band leader)
Tony Pelzar - piano accordion
Jimmy McDade - banjo
Al Payne - tenor sax
Jimmy O’Brien - drums
A few variations ~
Part-A, first measure:
| B4 B>AB>G |
| B2 B>A B2 G2 |
Another variant for the B-part’s last 4 measures:
| a>ba>f d3 a | g>ag>d B3 e | d>B (3cBA (3EFE (3DEF | G2 F2 G2 ||
My thanks to Trevor Jennings for directing my attention to a loss of attention to certain details with an bar/measure of music, I forgot to change an accidental here, the second take on the tune, the B-part, bar 8, the sharpened c changes back to c natural in the triplet, this correction has been made in the ABCs:
~ from | e>d^c>e d2 (3ABc | to | e>d^c>e d2 (3AB=c |
A further note about crossroads, they were graded, by whatever means, twice or more, depending on how many roads met, and this also often came down to the underlay of stone, rubble and grit, so the crossed area often held up best in bad weather and also tended to rise above most flooding ~ other positive attributes for a decent surface to ‘play’, or dance, on… Way back then the traffic was not so ominous and worrisome… If a wagon came along the animal pulling it and anyone accompanying it would welcome a break for a little music and dance, and the number dancing might even increase…
“The Stack of Oats” / “The Crossroads Ceili” ~ Part-A
Here’s some other choices for those who like choice, just the A-part:
|: E D>G |
B2 B2 B>AG>E | D2 D>E D>B,D>G | B2 A>B (3cdc B2 | E3 F E2 F>G |
A>GF>G A>FD>F | G>FG>A B>^AB>e | (3dcB (3cBA E2 F2 | G3 A G :|
The low B, can of course be played up, or B… Another option for that, the second bar, is the following:
| D2 D>E D>EG>A |
And a little more fun with the B-part, bars 5-8, I particularly like =c>^c:
| c2 A>B c2 d>g | f2 (3fff f2 (3fff | e2 (3eee e2 f2 | e>d^c>e d>B=c>^c |
Note, this is a great tune for teaching a ceili band, playing for dancers, if you can have a dance community that knows a barndance or two. It allows different levels of playing, taking the very basic form of the tune, and allows some fun for those more capable, and it has an easy swing to it, so you can lay it down with a steady tempo and achieve a groove for the less accomplished to follow and become one with. It also won’t let you take it too damned seriously, as it is just a hoot, good fun to play and dance to… Also, you with all it allows, you don’t need a set and can just give the one tune a go with repetitions and variation…and laughter too hopefully…
~ and tease, especially teasing the dancers, goosing them with the music… 😉
Stack of Oats
I took Bill Black’s transcription from http://www.capeirish.com/webabc/collections/rec1/rec1-tunes.html#0455 and modified it to try and match what the Erin’s Pride boys played. Beautiful tune. Junior Crehan of course composed his own Stack of Oats, also one of Rye, to match the already existing Wheat and Barley stacks. These are all hornpipes of course.
X:4 - A-part, 2nd bar/measure ~
Instead of that low B, - a few other options for D-limited instruments:
| D2 D>E D>E (3FGA | or | D2 D>E D2 G>A | or | D2 D>E D>BG>A | or | D2 D>E D>BG>D |
I look forward to Mr. c’s postings. At the risk of, but absolutely no intent of offending -he must be a delightful character. His music posts are nearly always cheerful, airy, frolicking, rhythmic, smacking of gaiety, - one might say fun. They usually make the little kids in my house dance and smile.
I have my moments ~ 😀
"The Grumpy Old Fart"