Anyone know the name to this mystery tune?
I recently got this tune from Tina Lech [Boston fiddle, ex-student of Jimmy Devine and one Hell of a fiddler!] and I think she said she learned it from a friend and that’s about all she knew about it.
Hmm.. This polka’s kick ass. I absolutely love it.
The Race Classic
Thank you! Awesome tune! Would yo uhappen to know anything about this tune? It’s so odd but I love it XD
Here’s what it says in the liner notes on the ‘Mi.da:za’ recording by the Cork band,"North Cregg."
"The Race Classic is another tune we got from Derek Hickey from Adare, County Limerick. We originally presumed that it was another Sliabh Luachra polka (albeit a strange one), but on a visit to the Shetland Islands we were informed it was actually a Shetland reel which was written by the great Willie Hunter."
This tune can also be found on that excellent CD by Verena Commins And Julie Langan called "Fonnchaoi". (pronounced, ‘funky’) …or at least that’s how Verena told me it’s pronounced.
just heard a version on the radio, didn’t catch who was playing, but they did it in G
those of us polka-ers in the know have come to indiscriminately describe this as the best polka ever. it also goes well with Britches Full of Stitches, constituting the best polka set over, and both are insanely fun and easy, making them the best beginner’s tunes ever.
too bad not enough people know about irish polkas : (
The Race Classic
I have come across this tune as "Ray’s Classic" (Perth Strathspey and Reel Society) and also "Roy’s Session" (BBC Radio Scotland, November 2003, with Willie Hunter credited as composer).
I’ve always understood that this Shetland reel was named Ray’s Classic by Willie Hunter Jnr to commemorate a friend’s car.
Isn’t the folk process weird and wonderful?
The Race Classic/Ray’s Classic
If this was originally a reel by Willie Hunter does the original tune have a different transcription and if so could someone post it? I would be interested to see how it changed. Thanks.
Listen to this polka on the Web
Armand has submitted a video on ‘you tube’ nicely playing this piece along with ‘the britches…’ You can all find it there. Thank you and good luck with your neighbors, Armand!
Phew! Nearly submitted this un by accident!
Just found it in time before I submitted this ABC as a new tune:
T: North Cregg
| A2 A>E FAFE | FB BA/B/ cB B2 | A2 A>E FAFE | AA BA/B/ cA A2 :||
||: AeAe f2 f2 | BfBf g2 g2 | cgcg a2 g>f | ec BA/B/ cA A2 :||
got that from a sheet of music Dave Swarbrick gave me when I asked what the last tune of a polka set Swarb’s Lazarus played at a gig was!
old thread, good tune
Can someone point me at the video mentioned above where armand plays it with ‘britches’. My YouTube search-fu is weak.
I recorded this tune at a pub session in Windermere (Lakes District, England) and it took my fancy. Haven’t been able to discover the name its usually known by. The first part of the tune is very similar to another common polka.
You can hear a live recording of the tune at
nice one, d>j>f
looks like its called Roy’s (or Ray’s) Classic and usually played in A major.
This tune was written by the great Shetland fiddler Willie Hunter, and is named after a car.
This was indeed by the late Willie Hunter and the subject was Ray Leask’s Ford Consul Classic. The Leasks are a leading Shetland musical family with an involvement in passenger transport. The tune wasn’t written as a polka, but as a big, striding reel, with not quite so many notes.
See also the jig, "Peter’s Peerie Boat" by the late Tom Anderson. The Peter here is also a member of the Leask family.
Transcribed from Hanz Araki’s album, *Wind*. Bouncy polka best played at a leisurely pace.
Sorry Jeremy. Just noticed I transcribed the tune name incorrectly — it’s "The Newmarket" polka. Can you change this to a variation of that existing tune? *sheepish*
A tin whistle version here
This tune was composed by Willie Hunter, who called it Ray’s Classic.
Ray’s Classic, X:3
This is how it is written in the Willie Hunter tune book. The description given is
"Composed in 1975 to celebrate the acquisition by Roy Leask, a lifetime friend, of a Ford Classic car."
The only change to this in my playing is the first bar, which I play as |A2-A2 E2 A2 |.
Re: Ray’s Classic
It was actually RAY Leask’s car. The third version is correct, but on repeating the first half, in bar 5 it’s usually a minim A, followed by a low A and the original A before going on to bar 6. It gives it a nice kick. Incidentally, although his classic is probably long defunct, Ray himself is looking well!
Ray’s Classic, X:4
First heard it on Verena Commins’ and Julie Langan’s album "Fonnchaoi". Lovely tune.
Re: Ray’s Classic
All the names you can say for this tune. Each time you say one… and the person asking says, "huh?" Immediately go to the next one, and when you get to the end of the list start over. Hours of fun… try it!
Ray’s Classic, X:9
bdh’s setting from Hanz’ playing, transposed up to Amajor. This introduces some G#’s in the A Part, unlike how the tune normally seems to go.