English Pub Session Tunes English Pub Session Series CD: Dave Mallinson - TheReedLounge.com

English Pub Session Tunes English Pub Session Series CD: Dave Mallinson

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This is the CD to accompany the book of the same name.

The tunes are suitable for every instrument associated with traditional music, and only 14 notes are required to play them all. They are eminently suitable for playing at country dances, ceilidhs, barn dances and hoe-downs and most have been recorded by notable bands and personalities.

To facilitate musicians identifying repertoire suitable for their current personal ability, the tunes in each book are presented in order of difficulty, and start and finish progressively harder throughout the series, in the order listed.

Introduction to the series

A friend remarked at Sidmouth Folk Week, “Mally, I’m going to recommend your Easy Peasy book to everybody, it’s great! It reflects very closely the repertoire we play at our local session.” Another friend commented at Cleethorpes Folk Festival, “Mally, you do a gross injustice to some really good and useful tunes by labelling them ‘Easy Peasy’, it gives the impression that they are only of any use to beginners to cut their teeth on.” “Very true,” I thought, “I play many of these tunes myself at dances, in sessions and for the morris dancers. Wouldn’t it be a great to extend Easy Peasy into a series.” The idea was born, and soon developed into this set of four books which contain the most popular tunes that are played in English pub sessions, at folk festivals and by country dance musicians and morris players. Each book has its own theme and identity. Given average luck, with these tunes under your belt, you’ll be able to join in most of the time.

Because most traditional airs only require the fourteen notes D, E, F sharp, G, A, B, C, C sharp, D, E, F sharp, G, A and B, I decided it would be a good idea to continue the theme, meaning all the tunes can be played in the first position on the top three strings of the fiddle, all the notes are in the range of the wooden flute and tin whistle and all the music is within the scope of the D/G melodeon without accidentals.

Chord arrangements are more or less as played on the soundtrack, but nevertheless, are only suggestions. The dominant chords (i.e. D in the key of G, A in the key of D and E in the key of A etc.) throughout these books are noted as plain major chords, whereas many musicians prefer to play the seventh (D7, A7, E7 etc.). Feel free to play either type of chord as the mood takes you.

You’ll notice many of the tunes are not English. It’s the pubs, sessions, folk festivals, ceilidhs etc. that are English. In, what might be termed, a general English session, melodies from Northumberland, Ireland, Scotland, America, France and Scandinavia are to be heard alongside English airs, which tend to be associated with the more southern regions of the country

Hundreds of personalities, records, bands, books and sessions have, unknowingly, made tiny, almost imperceptible contributions to the settings and choice of the tunes found in these books (some of the more influential are listed below). They have also been moulded further by the limitations of my instrument, the D/G melodeon, and, of course, the fourteen note rule. All the settings are my own versions and every tune has, to a greater or lesser degree, my own personal stamp on it. But, I’m sure you’ll find all the tunes ‘session friendly’, you can learn them exactly as written and have a perfectly acceptable version. However, I consider it unwise to learn a tune from only one source and I would suggest strongly that, when learning a new tune, you pay heed to other books, recordings and live performances.

  • The Muffin Man
  • Johnny Come Down to Hilo
  • Kelly, the Boy from Killan
  • Planxty Irwin
  • Sheebeg, Sheemore
  • The Munster Cloak
  • The Man in the Moon
  • The Drunken Sailor
  • Saint Mary's Polka
  • The Wren
  • A Starry Night for a Ramble
  • Napoleon Crossing the Rhine
  • Clee Hill
  • O’Connor’s Polka
  • Andrew Carr
  • Dennis Murphy's Polka
  • The Officer's Polka
  • The Tip Top Polka
  • The Ballydesmond Polka
  • The Ton
  • The Butterfly
  • Orange in Bloom
  • Sonny's Mazurka
  • Because He Was a Bonny Lad
  • Dark Girl Dressed in Blue
  • The Quaker
  • The Sloe
  • Rig-a-Jig
  • The Evesham Stick Dance
  • Michael Turner's Waltz
  • Church Street
  • The Seven Stars
  • Hexham Races
  • Rochdale Coconut Dance
  • The Heel and Toe Polka
  • Uncle’s Jig
  • The Redowa Polka
  • Smash the Windows
  • The Gaspé Reel
  • The Kirkgate Hornpipe
  • Lemmie Brazil’s Hornpipe
  • Upton upon Severn Stick Dance
  • Over the Hills and Far Away
  • Foul Weather Call
  • Waiting for the Federals
  • Scan Tester's Polka No. 1
  • Scan Tester's Polka No. 2
  • Foxhunter's Jig
  • The Fiery Clock Face
  • Merrily Kiss the Quaker
  • Roxburgh Castle
  • Girl with the Blue Dress on
  • Old Joe Clarke
  • Bonnie Kate
  • Harper's Frolic
  • John of Paris
  • Liberty
  • Family Jig
  • Enrico
  • Walter Bulwer's Polka No. 1
  • Walter Bulwer's Polka No. 2
  • The Little Burnt Potato
  • Mickey Chewing Bubble Gum
  • The Rocky Road to Dublin
  • The Lady in the Boat
  • The White Cockade
  • Soldiers’ Joy
  • Hot Punch
  • The Boys of Bluehill
  • Tripping Upstairs
  • The Rakes of Kildare
  • Sleep Soond i’ da Moarning
  • Saddle the Pony
  • Navvy on the Line
  • La Bastringue
  • Staten Island
  • The Redesdale Hornpipe
  • The Steamboat
  • Frost Is All Over
  • Off to California
  • Willafjord
  • Father O’Flynn
  • The Eighth of January
  • Shandon Bells
  • The Irish Washerwoman
  • Speed the Plough
  • Harvest Home
  • The Tenpenny Bit
  • The Marquis of Lorne
  • The Belfast Hornpipe
  • The Trumpet Hornpipe
  • Rickett's Hornpipe
  • The Blackthorn Stick
  • Woodland Revels
  • Athole Highlanders
  • Sir Sydney Smith's March
  • The Fairy Dance
  • Drowsy Maggie
  • The College Hornpipe
  • Miss McLeod's Reel
  • The Merry Blacksmith

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