The March Hare hornpipe

The March Hare has been added to 38 tunebooks.

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One setting

1
X: 1
T: The March Hare
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmin
|:(3DE^F|G2d2 d2cd|B2AG FG AF|GF GA BA Bc|de fe dc (3BAG|
D2G2 G2 GA|B2AG FG (3AGF|GA (3BAG FG (3AGF|G2G2 G4:|
|:B2Bc d2 de|f2fe dc (3BAG|F2FG A2 AB|c2cB AG F2|
G2 GA B2 Bc|d2dc BG A2|Bc (3dcB AB (3cBA|G2G2 G4:|
|:c2c2 c2BG|F2FG FE C2|c2c2 c2cd|e2 dc Bc (3dcB|
c2c2c2 BG|F2FG FE CD|EF (3GFE DE (3FED|C2C2 C4:|
# Added by Daver .

Ten comments

March Hare

From a record by Alan Barty, called Barty’s Bow. It seemed to be in 2 flats which I think puts it in Gm. I think its a hornpipe as most of the quavers are played dotted, but it may also be a set piece. The tune has three parts A,B,C and finishes with an A part. I think it must have another name as it sounds so familiar to me, but is not found by ABC tune finder. I would be interested if anyone knows it by another name.
Daver

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The March Hare

I heard this tune years ago on the radio played by an orchestra so I think it is a bit of a set piece. My mother knew it so that is conclusive proof that it’s up ther with Paddy McGinty’s Goat and Seven Drunken Nights in the "light Oirish canon". She wouldn’t know a trad tune if she tripped over Paddy Moloney (mind you that wouldn’t be difficult ..he’s a wee fella). I asked her what it was called and she said The March Hare. I learned a bowdlerised version of it in A minor (Hey! I was a kid, still learning and couldn’t see the point of too many flats) and played it as a fast reel without the third part and the B tune up an octave. This is the first time I have ever heard of anyone else who even knew it in thirty years. My then band thought I had made the whole thing up. I began to believe it myself. I became withdrawn, my friends started to shun me and I got in with the wrong crowd (Bluegrass flatpickers) and no amount of counselling could stem the slow decline into a life of teaching IT to ungrateful undergraduates. And then this! Thank you Daver. Ha! I am vindicated. I have to go and ‘phone the old band members. My life is now complete.

March Hare

If my memory serves me right I heard it first in an old black and white film called Rooney. Rooney was set in Dublin but the film was adapted from a book by Catherine Cookson which was set in the North East of England. That would tie in with hearing an orchestra play the tune. John Doonan used to play it (and later on the Doonan Family band) and I’m pretty sure he said that he got it from the film. A bit of searching on the web revealed that Philip Green wrote the March Hare and was composer for the film Rooney in 1958 as well as the film "The March Hare" in 1955.
http://www.theiceberg.com/artist/23784/philip_green/ http://us.imdb.com/Title?0052147

I’ve played this tune for many years, on the recorder, from the Wise Publications book ‘Songs and Dances of Ireland’, where it is in Am and Dm, and credited to Philip Green (correctly by the looks of it 🙂 )
It’s even got the amazingly inspired ‘lyrics’ "Doo-dle-ee di di di doo-dle oo-dle-ee oo-dle-ee…" etc etc. I’ve got a nagging suspicion Val Doonican may have done it at some point.

I now know better, and play proper tunes by ear on whistle and simple system flute, but it’s still fun to play this once in a while!

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This tune is actually in C dorian mode i.e. C minor with raised 6th note i.e. the A is natural. C minor has 3 flats (Bb, Eb, Ab); C dorian has 2 flats (Bb, Eb)

The March Hare

I have been wondering about this one for many years, I kept playing it for people but no one knew it.
I’m sure I remember Kenneth McKellar singing it on the White Heather Club in the 60’s and I once saw Dave Arbus play it very fast with his band East of Eden in about 1972.

Re: The March Hare

Love this tune! Recorded it at the South Repps pub session in North Norfolk September 2017 when it appeared that 15 musicians all played it regularly at the monthly session. Found the original film score on You Tube …I might pass on the lyrics though 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvCBBw3bpk

Re: The March Hare

Oops. Make that the Dashing White Sergeant album of Jimmy Shand. A great album as well - for a ceilidh!

Re: The March Hare

I just noticed that ‘Elizabethan Serenade’ has been posted on the site, and it put me in mind of this tune, it being another of the ‘faux-folk’ compositions that came out in the ‘5os or thereabouts, and it has stuck in my head since childhood (along with ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ and ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’). To my ear, it seems to draw heavily on a couple of genuine trad tunes - notably ‘Eileen Og’ (a.k.a. ‘Pride of Petravore’). I was going to post a setting, but found it was already here. I understand it was written by someone called Philip Green.

On the off-chance that it might be of interest, there is a 3-part arrangement in Dm at http://www.rudemex.co.uk/Tune%20library/Alphabetical/March%20Hare,%20The%20(3-pt).pdf

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