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

Popular English 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 Railway
  • On Top of Old Smokey
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • The Back o' Bennachie
  • The Lass o’ Dallowgill
  • Penny on the Water
  • Leather Away the Whattle
  • The Rigged Ship
  • Marie's Wedding
  • Bricks and Mortar
  • The Brown Banner
  • Scotland
  • The Big Ship
  • Nancy’s Fancy
  • Lord Inchiquin
  • Till the Tide Comes In
  • The Tombigbee Waltz
  • The Frisky Jig
  • Captain Maguire
  • Babes in the Wood
  • The Stool of Repentance
  • Louis' Waltz
  • The Feathers
  • The Nutting Girl
  • Auld Donald
  • Here's to a Maiden
  • The Road to Lisdoonvarna
  • The Derry Boat
  • All the Way to Galway
  • The Shaalds o' Foula
  • Greenholm
  • Green Mountain Petronella
  • Hewlet
  • The Star Above the Garter
  • Farewell to Whiskey
  • Teahan's Polka
  • Seventy Second's Farewell
  • Rattle the Cash
  • Bill Collins' Jig
  • Sister Jean
  • Thursday Night
  • Bonnets so Blue
  • The Barnacle Redowa
  • The Boys of Wexford
  • Ward's Brae
  • The Lass o' Patie's Mill
  • Liberton Pipe Band
  • The Minstrel’s Fancy
  • The Grahaemsie Jig
  • Morgan Rattler
  • The Matelot
  • Lamshaw's Fancy
  • The Hullichan Jig
  • Garryowen
  • The Boys of School Hill
  • The Lady of the Lake
  • The Saint Lawrence Jig
  • Lamb Skinnet
  • Paddy Whack
  • The Shepton Hornpipe
  • One More Dance and Then
  • Kitty McGee
  • O'Donnell Abu
  • Kate Dalrymple
  • Merrily Danced Quaker's Wife
  • Elsie Marley
  • The Harmonica
  • The Kesh Jig
  • The Colosseum
  • The Pet o' the Pipers
  • Morrison's Jig
  • La Grande Chaine
  • Whinham's Reel
  • Out on the Ocean
  • The Greencastle Hornpipe
  • Rory O'More
  • Bielbie’s Hornpipe
  • The Wonder Hornpipe
  • The Breakdown
  • Strike the Gay Harp
  • The Lark in the Morning
  • The Liverpool Hornpipe
  • The Maid Behind the Bar
  • The Teetotaller
  • Pigtown Fling
  • Donald Blue
  • Jack Broke da Prison Door
  • Flowers of Edinburgh
  • Far from Home
  • The Bellingham Boat
  • Sally Gardens
  • Pig Ankle Rag
  • Angeline the Baker
  • Colored Aristocracy
  • The Devil Among the Taylors
  • The Random Jig
  • The Mason's Apron
  • The High Road to Linton
  • The High Level Hornpipe
  • The New High Level
  • Ragtime Annie

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