Once I Caught A Fish Alive polka

Also known as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 345, 1,2,3,45, Heel & Toe, The Heel & Toe, Heel And Toe, The Heel And Toe, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, One, Two, Three-Four-Five, Sultan, Sultan’s, The Sultan’s, The Sultan.

There are 5 recordings of a tune by this name.

Once I Caught A Fish Alive has been added to 13 tunebooks.

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Seven settings

X: 1
T: Once I Caught A Fish Alive
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: f2 f2 | ed d2 | cd ef | ag g2 |
g2 g2 | fe e2 | dc Bc |[1 BA A2 :|[2 ed d2 ||
|: af f2 | af f2 | af bf | ag g2 |
ge e2 | ge e2 |[1 ge ag | gf f2 :|[2 ag fe | d2 d2 |]
X: 2
T: Once I Caught A Fish Alive
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: f4 f3f | e2d2 d3d | c2d2 e2f2 | a2^g2 =g4 | g4 g3g | f2e2 e4 | d2c2 B2c2 | e2d2 d4:|
|: f2B2 f2B2 | f2B2 BB B2| d2B2 BB B2 | c2F2 F4 | f2B2 f2B2 | f2B2 BB B2 | d2d2 cBdc | B4 B4 :|
|: f4 f3f | e2d2 d3d | c2d2 e2f2 | a2^g2 =g4 | g4 g3g | f2e2 e4 | d2c2 B2c2 | e2d2 d4:|
|: D4 G3A | B6 B2 | c2c2 E2c2 | B6 zB | d2d2 A3A | B2B2 G3A | B2A2 E2F2 | G8 :|
X: 3
T: Once I Caught A Fish Alive
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B2 B>B | AG G>G | FG AB | dc c2 |
c2 c>c | BA A>A | GF EF | ED B,/C/D |
B2 Bc/B/ | A/B/A/G/ F>G | E/F/G AA/B/ | dc c/d/c/B/ |
c2 cd/c/ | BA- AB/A/ | G/A/G/F/ EF | AG G2 ||
dB B>c | dB- B>c | dB eB | dc- c>B |
cA A>B | cA- A>B | cA dc | cB B/c/B/c/ |
dB BB/c/ | dB B/c/B/c/ | dB e/f/e/B/ | dc cA/B/ |
cA- A>B | cA F/G/A/B/ | dc B/c/B/A/ | GF E/F/E/D |]
X: 4
T: Once I Caught A Fish Alive
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
D2 GA | B3A/B/ | cc ED | B4 | dd A>A |BB G>G | AA EF | 1 GF ED :|| 2 G4 ||
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE E>G | FB B2 | BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE EA/G/ | FD D2 |
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 ||
# Added by hetty .
X: 5
T: Once I Caught A Fish Alive
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
D2 GA | B3A/B/ | cc ED | B4 | dd A>A |BB G>G | AA EF | 1 GF ED :|| 2 G4 ||
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE E>G | FB B2 | BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE EA/G/ | FD D2 |
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 ||
# Added by hetty .
X: 6
T: Once I Caught A Fish Alive
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: A |B2 B>A |AG G>G | FG AB | d^c =c2 |
c2 c>B | BA A>A | GF EF |[1 ED D :|[2 G3 ||
|: A |BE BE/E/ | BE E>F | GE E/F/G/E/ | F[B,B] [B,B]>^A |
BE BE | BE E>F | GG FG/F/ | E3 :|
^D |D>D GA | B3 c | d>d cB | AE E2 |
A>A c/B/A | c3 d | e>e dc | BA G/A/G/E/ |
DD/D/ GA | B2 Bc | d>d cB | AE E2 |
e>e fe | ed B/c/d | d^c/d/ eF | G3 |]
X: 7
T: Once I Caught A Fish Alive
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: e |f2 f>e |ed d>d | cd ef | a^g =g2 |
g2 g>f | fe e>e | dc Bc |[1 BA A :|[2 d3 ||
|: e |fB fB/B/ | fB B>c | dB B/c/d/B/ | cF F>e |
fB fB | fB B>c | dd cd/c/ | B3 :|
^A |A>A de | f3 g | a>a gf | eB B2 |
e>e g/f/e | g3 a | b>b ag | fe d/e/d/B/ |
AA/A/ de | f2 fg | a>a gf | eB B2 |
b>b c’b | ba f/g/a | a^g/a/ bc | d3 |]

Nineteen comments

“Once I caught A fish Alive”

One, two, three, four, five,
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then I let go again.

Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on the right…

And for you media junkies out there ~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzv-qCYnWGU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2KUlJZSkx8

http://www.cartoonito.co.uk/videos/cartoonitokaraokefishalive

Now, I know I also knew this by another name and with other lyrics, but for now I’ll leave that up to the scrum… 😎

I’ve given it twice, once in D at its simplest, and then in G and having some fun with it. And, would you believe it, I even know other versions of this…

1,2,3,4,5

hi c ….

How about this - variations on the same thing (I have it as Sultan’s or 1,2,3,4,5) or a different beast altogether! Fun though 🙂

X:1
T:Sultan’s Polka
T:Tric-trac polka
T:1,2,3,4,5
S:Greg Stephens, Natntwich Fiddle Day workshop
M:4/4
R:Polka
K:D
|: f4 f3f | e2d2 d3d | c2d2 e2f2 | a2^g2 =g4 | g4 g3g | f2e2 e4 | d2c2 B2c2 | e2d2 d4:|
|: f2B2 f2B2 | f2B2 BB B2| d2B2 BB B2 | c2F2 F4 | f2B2 f2B2 | f2B2 BB B2 | d2d2 cBdc | B4 B4 :|
|: f4 f3f | e2d2 d3d | c2d2 e2f2 | a2^g2 =g4 | g4 g3g | f2e2 e4 | d2c2 B2c2 | e2d2 d4:|
K:G
|: D4 G3A | B6 B2 | c2c2 E2c2 | B6 zB | d2d2 A3A | B2B2 G3A | B2A2 E2F2 | G8 :|

1,2,3,45

Ooops ….
S:Greg Stephens, NANTWICH Fiddle Day workshop

M: 2/4 / K: Dmaj ~ | a^g =g2 | ~ & K: Gmaj ~ | d^c =c2 |

How are you spin?

Yes, on that one bit, going from the ^g to the =g in D or ^c to =c in G… The B-part ring bells, some familiarity there, but not the trio or D-part… Interesting, thanks for the addition… Did he have words for the other parts? I have vague recollections of words to my B-part, but have improvised some in the past, more numbers games… ~ 123 ~ etc… Learning to sing tunes, with words or lilting, is always good craic, and good practice… 😎

“The Sultan’s Polka” ~ memory click

Yes, that is another name I’m familiar with. Here’s another transcription for it along your lines, dragged up from the net. I have a sneaking suspicion I’d come across it your way, or close if not exact, via the beribboned and bejangled brigade ~ Morris dancers & musicians… 😉 If I’d remembered that I would have probably given this transcription as follows and added my other take on it, that given for ‘Fish’, in the comments. Late, but I suspect closer to the earlier form of this, and for the sake of all concerned, in both keys again ~ starting low this time ~ 😎

X: 3
T: The Sultan Polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Gmaj
|:A |\
B2 B>A |AG G>G | FG AB | d^c =c2 |
c2 c>B | BA A>A | GF EF |[1 ED D :|[2 G3 ||
|: A |\
BE BE/E/ | BE E>F | GE E/F/G/E/ | FB B>^A |
BE BE | BE E>F | GG FG/F/ | E3 :|
^D |\
D>D GA | B3 c | d>d cB | AE E2 |
A>A c/B/A | c3 d | e>e dc | BA G/A/G/E/ |
DD/D/ GA | B2 Bc | d>d cB | AE E2 |
e>e fe | ed B/c/d | d^c/d/ eF | G3 |]

X: 4
T: The Sultan Polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Dmaj
|:e |\
f2 f>e |ed d>d | cd ef | a^g =g2 |
g2 g>f | fe e>e | dc Bc |[1 BA A :|[2 d3 ||
|: e |\
fB fB/B/ | fB B>c | dB B/c/d/B/ | cF F>e |
fB fB | fB B>c | dd cd/c/ | B3 :|
^A |\
A>A de | f3 g | a>a gf | eB B2 |
e>e g/f/e | g3 a | b>b ag | fe d/e/d/B/ |
AA/A/ de | f2 fg | a>a gf | eB B2 |
b>b c’b | ba f/g/a | a^g/a/ bc | d3 |]

K: Gmaj ~ | FB, B,>^A | ~ or simply ~ | FB, B,2 | ~

An alternate take on the 4th measure of the B-part ~ dropping the Bs down an octave…

"dragged up from the net" ~ sorry, that wasn’t exactly the case…more like dredged up from memory with some aid, including spin’s take on it… 😎

“Sultan Polka” ~ The Fiddler’s Companion ~ Andrew Kuntz

http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/index.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/SU_SV.htm

Some further dredging, here’s an interesting note from that valued source ~

In 1866 during the Canadian gold-rush Robert Burrell grumbled in a letter that the music from Bakerville’s Hurdie house across the street was disturbing his sleep. He mentioned four of the songs that were ringing in his ears: "Silver Lakes Varsovianna,” "King of the Cannibal Islands,” "Sultan Polka" & "Edinburgh Quadrille.”

“The Heel & Toe”

Another memory jog courtesy of spin, who has spinning wheel acquisition disorder. Yes, me too, I’ve also danced the ‘Heel & Toe’ to this melody, in the 32 bar version, and a couple of other polka dances too. This fits that action, ‘heel & toe’ ~ singly or doubly or any of several other variations ~ beautifully…

You are not alone with your SWAD. I have known other sufferers and I sympathize. A spinning wheel is a beautiful thing, as are treadle and other foot and hand operated spinning machines ~ ahhhhh!!! 😉

Heel

I have an LP published in 1976 of recordings made in the North-East entitled ‘Holey Ha’penny’ on which a fiddle player from Morpath area of Northumberland namely Ned Pearson plays a version of this tune named "Heel & Toe Polka"
Here is my transposition in the Key of ‘G’
T: Heel & Toe Polka
M: 4/4
L: 1/4
K: G
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
D2 GA | B3A/B/ | cc ED | B4 | dd A>A |BB G>G | AA EF | 1 GF ED :|| 2 G4 ||
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE E>G | FB B2 | BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE EA/G/ | FD D2 |
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 ||

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Heel & Toe Polka

I have an LP published in 1976 of recordings made in the North-East entitled ‘Holey Ha’penny’ on which a fiddle player from Morpath area of Northumberland namely Ned Pearson plays a version of this tune named "Heel & Toe Polka"
Here is my transposition in the Key of ‘G’
T: Heel & Toe Polka
M: 4/4
L: 1/4
K: G
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
D2 GA | B3A/B/ | cc ED | B4 | dd A>A |BB G>G | AA EF | 1 GF ED :|| 2 G4 ||
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 :||
BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE E>G | FB B2 | BF BF | BF F/E/F/A/ | GE EA/G/ | FD D2 |
B2B2 | AG G2 | FG AB | d^c =c2 | c2 c2 | BA A2 | GF EF | AG G2 ||
a 64 bar arrangement. Ned Pearson was a gamekeeper on the estate of Sir Charles Trevelyan (goodness knows who he was) He kept pinching his father’s fiddle to learn on until his father found out and decided to get him violin lessons. He was then able to eventually join his father’s band. The sleeve notes also say he was one of the best known musiciansin his area. We owe the recordings on thisLP to the work, yet again, of Peter Kennedy.

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Whoops!!

Looks like a double take, can’t think what happened there.
They say you keep repeating yourself as you get older.

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Ned Pearson, fiddler

Ned Pearson, fiddler ~ yes indeed, a favourite of mine… I’ll have to check and see if I have it under his bow… Thanks for the stereo transcription… 😉

I had wondered if the 3rd part might have been a ‘trio’… ABAC eh? That makes some sense and would better fit the dances, including any of the ‘Heel & Toes’…

There are also some great ‘heel & toe’ longways progressive dances this would nicely complement, 32 or 64 bars long…

Here’s Conal O’Grada playing a very busy version of this: http://www.webfilehost.com/?mode=viewupload&id=6hw37m98

Easy to find the Sultan in digital sheet music archives. Percy Brown plays it on the melodeon on Voice of the People 09: Rig - A - Jig - Jig. I find the title was used by various American musicians: Mrs Ben Scott, Jehile Kirkhuff, Leizime Brusoe’s Orchestra, Narmour And Smith - but their tune was either the Military Schottische or the Jenny Lind. Old English Village fiddler Stephen Baldwin played the same tune as Pearson and Brown.

It originally started out life as The Sultan’s Polka, and was composed by Charles D’Albert. It’s most popular use was for the Hell-and-toe dance, which it fits like a glove (or should that be sock?). Although some play all three parts (Ned Pearson, Stephen Baldwin) others miss out the minor Trio.