Tom John’s Rally polka

Also known as Pigau’r Dur, The Points Of Steel, Rali Twm Siôn, The Steel Points, The Steel Prongs, The Steel Spikes, Tom Jone’s Rally, Tom Jones’ Rally.

There are 2 recordings of a tune by this name.

Tom John's Rally has been added to 6 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: Tom John's Rally
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d2 dd|d/c/d/e/ dc/d/|ed cB|A2 A2|B2 Bc|d/c/d/e/ dg|cB A>G|1G2 G(3A/B/c/:|2G2 G2||
A2 AA|B2 BB|ee fe|e^d-de|f2 e>g|f2 ef/g/|ag fe|d2 de/f/|
g>a gf|ef ed|ed cB|A2 A2|B/A/B/c/ Bc|d/c/d/e/ dg|cB A>G|G2 G2||
X: 2
T: Tom John's Rally
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d>e dd | d/^c/d/e/ dc/d/ | ed cB | A2 A2 |
B>^A Bc | d/^c/d/e/ dg | cB A>G | G4 :|
A>B AA | B/^A/B/c/ BB | e>g fe | e^d- d>e |
f>a eg | fa ef/g/ | a>g fe | ed- de/f/ |
g>a gf | e>f ed | ed cB | A4 |
B/^A/B/c/ bc | d/^c/d/e/ d>g | cB A>G | G4 ||

Fifteen comments

Rali Twm Sion

Source: Ar Log - Original Celtic Music
Transcription: gian marco pietrasanta
Note: (copied and pasted from )
Tom Jone’s Rally - (Rali Twm Sion)
This is a Nantgarw dance, which possibly was passed from Lichfield by workers from the Staffordshire potteries. It is for TWELVE dancers double stepping with bells on their fingers and hands waved in the air continuously. There are two sets that interact with each other. It is fairly complex with interactive circular heys and casts.

Hey! Halellujah! ~ GM is in the act now…Croeso Fawr it ti!!!

I’m losing it now GM, laughing my heart out. Croeso / Welcome… Now to see what you’ve made of this old standard…

Should I admit dancing these? I’ve also had my hands on the original manuscript, which is a lark in itself, as the man claims to have no musical or dance knowledge whatsoever and then uses all the terminology current of the age, and accurately, to notate the dances… Hmmmm? ;-)

I’ll have to check my notes, bells on my fingers? I must have been p*ssed ~ good Welsh ale… I do remember bells on my hose, and knee breeches, and my hose/socks kept falling down and I couldn’t stop laughing…

Croeso a hwyl fawr!!!

The earlier, "Croeso fawr i ti!" = A big welcome to you!

(ignore the doubled ‘t’, a mistake in my excitement to see this contribution from you.)

What’s with the weird link you’ve given??? ~ as your source for this???

“Rali Twm Siôn” / “Pigau’r Dur” ~ some more fun with it

K: G Major
|: d>e dd | d/^c/d/e/ dc/d/ | ed cB | A2 A2 |
B>^A Bc | d/^c/d/e/ dg | cB A>G | G4 :|
A>B AA | B/^A/B/c/ BB | e>g fe | e^d- d>e |
f>a eg | fa ef/g/ | a>g fe | ed- de/f/ |
g>a gf | e>f ed | ed cB | A4 |
B/^A/B/c/ bc | d/^c/d/e/ d>g | cB A>G | G4 ||

Rali = "Rally" (& sounds the same too)
Twm = proper name, Tom ~ "Toom"
Siôn = proper name, John ~ "Sh - on"

"Rali Twm Siôn" = Tom John’s Rally ~ "Rally Toom Sh - on"

“Pigau’r Dur”

I had to close off before I was done, Goodall was back on the tele with ‘Rythm’ tonight…

Pig = beak, bill, spout, prong, point, spike ~ "pig"
Pigau = the plural ~ "pig" - "eye"
‘r = the (contraction of ‘yr’) ~ "rrr"
Dur = steel, hard ~ "dear"

"Pig-eye ‘rrr Dear"

"Pigau’r Dur" / "The Steel Points"

“The Nantgarw Dances” ~ NOT the Llangadfan ones!!!

I had the usual revelations of "OOPS!" The source I listed earlier was for what are known as "The Llangadfan Dances". Here’s a bit on "The Nantgarw Dances":

"These dances were recollected by Mrs. Margaretta Thomas of Nantgarw, Glamorganshire, and noted down by her daughter, Dr. Ceinwen Thomas, who has kindly given her manuscript to ‘Cymdeithas Ddawns Werin Cymru’ (‘The Welsh Folk Dance Society’). Three of the dances - a floral dance, "Dawns Blodau Nantgarw"; a midsummer dance, "Dawns Gwyl Ifan"; and a processional dance, "Rali Twm Siôn" - are published here."

"Three Nantgarw Dances"
Music arranged by W.S. Gwynn Williams
CDWC ~ Cwmni Gwynn, Caernarfon, 1950

"Rali Twm Siôn ~ is a processional dance, closely related to the Morris dance known as ‘Cadi Ha’. It was danced by six couples in fancy dress on Fair-days in Caerphilly and Tongwynlais. The dancers were known to Mrs. Thomas’s grandmother, so they probably came from the Nantgarw district. The men and women wore bells attached to their thumbs, middle and little fingers, as well as on their caps and tunics. They shook their hands in the air continuously. The dancers, if they have bells on their fingers, should not take hands except possibly the man taking his partner’s wrist between his fingers. As it is a processional dance, the amount of music used for the part we have called the Promenade must be governed by the space available. There is no reason why 24 dancers, or any multiple of 12, should not take part. To finish, the dancers came towards the harp in two lines, the men behind the women. With three low jumps the men came forward to stand beside their partners and all bowed before leading off."

There is more, but that is enough of an introduction to the dance. A rant step, or close relative, can be used…

Hey, I’ve just stumbled across my own notes from way back when and here they are, quoting myself from the past:

"This is a standard processional-style dancewith figures, related to the ‘Grand March’, ‘Big Circles’, ‘Polonaise’ ~ a nice idea would be to incorporate the braiding used in similar dances in Scandinavia, etc…including Scotland…"

What was I on about?

“Rali Twm Siôn” ~ the dance

Other tunes recommended and used by Cymdeithas Ddawns Werin Cymru / The Welsh Folk Dance Society, besides "Pigau’r Dur":

"Diffyrwch Gwŷr Llanfabon" = "The Delight of the Men of Llanfabon"
"Breuddwyd y Frenhines" = "The Queen’s Dream"

These and other tunes are available in the CDWC publication:

“Blodau’r Grug: 100 Popular Welsh Folk Dance Tunes”
Selected and arranged by Alex Hamilton
Revised by Robin Huw Bowen, CDWC, 1992

? Diolch / Grazie / Thanks ~

What a weird site, who’s the webmaster? There’s no one taking credit for its formation and much of it seems gleaned from the available printed sources but without crediting them. It is one odd website. I’ve just did a tour, here are some more links ~ but does anyone have the keys to the mysteries? Here are a few pages:

The Homepage? ~ and who is the webmaster?

"Introduction: Welsh Morris and other Welsh Dances"

"Welsh Morris - Introduction"

"The Nantgarw Dances"

"The Llanover Dances" ~ Hugh Mellor, 1935

“Jone’s” ~ it ain’t, never…

John’s or Jones’, but not Jone’s… Curiouser and curiouser…

“The Nantgarw Dances” ~ 3 others

"Ffair Caerffili and Other Dances from Nantgarw"
Recollected by Mrs. Margretta Thomas and compiled by Lois Blake
Gwasg / Press: John Penry, Abertawe

The three dances: Ffair Caerffili / Dawns Y Pelau / Ceiliog Y Rhedyn

Coloured or irridescent balls attached to elastic with ribbons hanging from them were used in the dance "Dawns Y Pelau".

"Ffair Caerffili" has a step similar to the Russian squat-kick called the ‘presadka’ (spelling?), the Welsh name for this being ‘The Toby’…

Like the dance entered here, "Rali Twm Siôn", "Dawns Y Pelau" and "Ffair Caerffili" are considered ‘exhibition’ or ‘display’ dances rather than ‘social’. They also were danced by six couples…

From the book:

"At the back of the dancing enclosure there were two changing-tents. A Master of Ceremonies in semi-military attire called on the dancers, announced the dances and laid out a white cloth to recieve the contributions from the audience."

Diolch / Thanks Laitch ~ is he also the maker and maintainer for the Welsh pages?