Holmes’ Fancy polka

Also known as Holm’s Fancy, Holme’s Fancy, Holmses Fancy.

There are 7 recordings of a tune by this name.

Holmes’ Fancy has been added to 4 tune sets.

Holmes' Fancy has been added to 20 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Holmes' Fancy
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GB/c/ dB|ec dB|GB/c/ dB|cA c/d/e|
GB/c/ dB|ec dB|c/d/e d>c|1 BG GD:|2 BG Gg||
|:fd ec|dB Gg|fd ec|d2 e/f/g|
Gg Ag|Bg cg|d>e dB|1 G2 Gg:|2 G2 GD||
X: 2
T: Holmes' Fancy
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GB/c/ dB ecdB|GB/c/ dB cA (3cde|GB/c/ dB ecdB|(3cde dc BG G:|
|:g|fdec dB Gg|fdec d2 (3efg|GgAg Bgcg|d>edB G2G:|
X: 3
T: Holmes' Fancy
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GBdB ecdB|GBdB cAce|GBdB ecdB|1 cedc BGGD:|2 cedc BGGg||
|:fdec dBGg|fdec d2 (3efg|GgAg Bgcg|1 dedB G2Gg:|2 dedB G2GD||

Six comments

Holmes’ Fancy

Also played in A, this Northumbrian tune looks like a polka on paper but is really a rant or a 2/4 march - slower than a polka and with more emphasis on the 1st beat of the bar rather than that lopsided but driving backbeat emphasis you get in polkas. I have to say this would make a great polka too, if you wanted to play it that way. I always assumed this was a modern tune, but I just looked it up, and found that it appeared in John Peacock’s MS. from the early 1800s. That version is almost exactly as I have it, but transcribed differently, in 4/4, and with some strange triplet notation, which makes me wonder if some people might have played it more like a sort of fling or reel at one time:

X: 1
T: Holmes’ Fancy
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
S: John Peacock MS. (1800-1805)
K: Gmaj
GB/c/ dB ecdB|GB/c/ dB cA (3cde|GB/c/ dB ecdB|(3cde dc BG G:|
|:g|fdec dB Gg|fdec d2 (3efg|GgAg Bgcg|d>edB G2G:|

Notes at the Farne website say that it was probably composed by a local piper called Holmes.

Transcribed as a Scottish-style reel, the A-part reminds me of the Doon/Pat Ward’s family of tunes.

X: 1
T: Holmes’ Fancy
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
GBdB ecdB|GBdB cAce|GBdB ecdB|1 cedc BGGD:|2 cedc BGGg||
|:fdec dBGg|fdec d2 (3efg|GgAg Bgcg|1 dedB G2Gg:|2 dedB G2GD||

Holmes Fancy

This is a Northumbrian standard. Everyone plays it. up here but most don’t doi it justice and don’t make it rant properly. It really is NOT a reel. Angels of the North link it with Salmon Tails and Nancy Clough. We use it quite frequently for things like the Cumberland Square Eight..
Noel
Angels of the North

Holmes Fancy

In A.? I don’t think so. Not in civilized company anyway.
Noel
Angels of the North

For a transcription in that key, have a look on Richard Robinson’s website.