The Pearl reel

There are 9 recordings of this tune.

The Pearl has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Pearl has been added to 75 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

1
X: 1
T: The Pearl
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DE|F4 E3 D|D4 dcde|f4 A3 F|A4 B2 c2|d4 c3 d|B4 A2 DE|
F4 E3 D|B,4 D2 E2|F4 E3 D|D4 dcde|f4 A3 F|A4 B2 c2|d4 c3 d|
B4 A2 DE|F4 E3 D|B,4 d2 e2|f4 A3 F|A4 B2 c2|d4 D3 E|
F4 E2 D2|D B3 B2 A2|F3 E D2 E2|F4 E A3|D4 d2 e2|f4 A3 F|
A4 B2 c2|d4 D3 E|F4 E2 D2|D B3 B2 A2|F3 E D2 E2|F4 E3 A|D6||
2
X: 2
T: The Pearl
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DE|:F2 E3 D|D2 dcde|f2 A3 F|A2 B2 c2|1 d2 c3 d|B2 A2 DE|
F2 E3 D|B,4 DE:|2 d c3 d2|B2 A2 DE|F2 E3 D|D3 d e2||
f2 A3 F|A2 B2 c2|d2 D3 E|F4 ED|1 D2 B2 BA|F2 E2 DE|
F2 E A3|A2 d2 e2:|2 D B2 B A2|F2 E2 DE|F2 E3 A|D4||
3
X: 3
T: The Pearl
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DE|F4 E3 D|D4 d2e2|f4 A3 F|A4 B2 c2|d4 c3 A|B4 A2 DE|
F4 E3 D|B,4 D2 E2|F4 E3 D|D4 d2e2|f4 A3 F|A4 B2 c2|d4 c3 A|
B4 A2 DE|F4 E3 D|B,4 d2 e2|f4 A3 F|A4 B2 c2|d4 D3 E|
F4 E3 D|D2 B4 A2|F4 D2 E2|F4 E3 D|B,4 d2 e2|f4 A3 F|
A4 B2 c2|d4 D3 E|F4 E3 D|D2 B4 A2|F4 D2 E2|F4 E3 D|B,6||
4
X: 4
T: The Pearl
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DE|"D"F4 "A/C#"E3D|"Bm"D4 "G"d2e2|"D"f4 "A"A3F|"D/F#"A4 "Em"B2"F#m"cB/c/|
"G"d4 "F#m"c3D|"G"B3d/B/ "D"A3F/E/|"Bm"F4 "F#m"E3D|"G"B,6:|
d3/2e/|:"D"f4 "A"A3F|"D/F#"A4 "Em"B2"F#m"cB/c/|"G"d4 D3E|"F#m"F4 "D7"E3D|
[1"G"D4 "Em"B3A|"D"F4 "Bm"D3"E7/G#"E|"D/A"F4 "Em"E3"D/F#"D|"G"B,4 d3e:|
[2"G"D4 "E7/G#"B3A|"D/A"F4 "Bm"D3"G"E|"D/F#"F4 "Em"E3"D/F#"D|"G"B,6||

Twenty-one comments

The Pearl

Not a reel but a slow rhythmic air composed by Scottish piano-accordion player Phil Cunningham. I think it commemorates someone’s pearl wedding (thirtieth anniversary).
I love this tune and hope my transcription has done it justice. It was on Silly Wizard’s album "Wild And Beautiful" at the start of the ‘80’s; since then Phil has recorded it with Aly Bain, and at least one recording has them play the end of the second part just like the first (in the last four bars). I prefer the Silly Wizard version which has them different, and have submitted that one as I remember it.

Bars 21 and 29 would probably be better ending with two unsyncopated crotchets than with a dotted crotchet and quaver.

It commemorates his parents’ pearl wedding.

The pearl - music transcription

I don’t think the written sheet music is accurate, The way it is presented changes the character of the tune significantly. I have tried to write it correctly in ABC as I do not have a music writing programme. (For / read bar line) It is as follows:

//: DE / F4 E3 D / D4 d3 e / f4 A3 F / A4 B2 c2 / d2 c5 D / B4 D E / F4 E3 / B4 ://
//: d2 e2 / f4 A3 F / A4 B2 c2 / d4 D3 E / F4 E3 D / D4 B4 / F4 D2 E2 / F4 E3 D / B2 ://

Going down to the B in bars 8,16,24 and 32 gives the tune its distinctive character.

Coming back to this belatedly, I’m still satisfied that my setting is not erroneous for the tune as first recorded, *except* that bars 15 and 16 ought to read:

| F4 E3 D | D4 d2 e2 | - et cetera.

The odd note length may be different in the original, and it has a low D quaver instead of a high one at the end of bars 5 and 13.

Sue, I haven’t heard this tune but here is a quicky fix transposition in 3/4 I’ve made that will hopefully be useful:
X: 1
T: Pearl, The
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: Waltz
K: Dmaj
DE||:F2 E3 D|D2 dcde|f2 A3 F|A2 B2 c2|1 d2 c3 d|B2 A2 DE|
F2 E3 D|B,4 DE:|2 d c3 d2|B2 A2 DE|F2 E3 D|D3 d e2||
f2 A3 F|A2 B2 c2|d2 D3 E|F4 ED|1 D2 B2 BA|F2 E2 DE|
F2 E A3|A2 d2 e2:|2 D B2 B A2|F2 E2 DE|F2 E3 A|D4 ||

or course it is now a waltz but it was asking for it!! 🙂

Chords

Hello,

This is a great tune, thanks for put-it here.

Somoene has chords for accompany it on guitar?

Thanks,

Mathieu

The Pearl

| D A | Bm G | D A | D Em-F#m |
| G F#m | G D | Bm F#m | G |
| D A | Bm G | D A | D Em-F#m |
| G F#m | G D | Bm F#m | G ||
| D A | D Em-F#m | G | F#m D7 |
| G Em | D Bm-E9/G# | D/A Em-D/F# | G |
| D A | D Em-F#m | G | F#m D7 |
| G Em | D G/D | D Em7-F#m | G |]

Cheers!

The Pearl, X:3

This is how I hear Phil playing it. If you really slow it down you can hear some quick ornamental notes here and there but played at normal speed I dont think these are audible. As always comments /improvements are welcome.

Re: The Pearl

If these notes you mention are "not audible" at normal speed, what would be the point of him playing them in the first place ?

Posted by .

Re: The Pearl

It’s for the benefit of the few of us who don’t have cloth ears, Kenny.

Re: The Pearl

I’ll need to dig out the recording to ascertain if I can hear the ornamental notes or not.

However, I think ornaments will come naturally to many players whether they actually intend to play them or not. So, I can imagine there could well be some subtleties in the recording and, indeed, performances of the tune.

Re: The Pearl

Can we be clear about something from your last post, DonaldK ? "the few of us" - including yourself presumably - who "don’t have cloth ears", and by implication, I do ?

Posted by .

Re: The Pearl

To be clear, Kenny, I was including you in the "few" who don’t have cloth ears. In reality, the "few" should probably be the "many" as I find it hard to believe that people couldn’t hear Phil’s ornamentation.

Re: The Pearl

As has been discussed on other threads, the ornamentation one hears on a recording is maybe a snapshot of what was played on that occasion, and in folk/trad music is really not prescriptive. It is very likely that ornaments won’t be played precisely the same each time, even by the same player.
The copy I have of this tune has no ornaments written in it, though I would surely put some in while playing it: but very unlikely that they would be the same as Phil’s.

Re: The Pearl

Thank you for the clarification, DonaldK. My apologies for jumping to the wrong conclusion, but it wasn’t entirely clear to me what you meant.

Posted by .

Re: The Pearl

Yes, I should have made it clearer that the "few" included you.

The Pearl, X:4

Fourth setting is roughly as played by Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham with some of the "quick ornamental notes" added for clarity.
The second time through the tune Phil varies the harmony on the second part. I’ve added this as the repeat of the second part.