A Christmas Folk Melodeon Medley

Today I tweeted a video that I made this time last year. Of course it would be better if I posted a video that I made specially for Christmas this year, but sadly I can’t be bothered. It’s quite a fun video, so I thought I’d talk you through it, hypothetical but probably imaginary reader.

The piece starts with the Sussex Carol, one of my personal favourites. You may remember it from the opening segment of the adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s “The Tailor of Gloucester“. I do. It has stuck in my head for years and it always brings a smile to my face.

However, you may be aware that when played in churches, there is a fill in between verses. This I can never remember, so I thought it would be fun to put in different ones each time.

The first is a bit of Bach, from his Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. But you didn’t need to be told that. This is really quite tricky on box, or at least it is when you try to record it before you practice it. I went through about 6 takes before I got it (more or less). I resolved that whatever then happened I should carry on.

The second is a fragment of a tunes that my Uncle wrote some years ago and recorded on his second CD, Lowlands. The tune is called Country Dance and the recording was dedicated to myself and my sister. If you wish to hear more of him, search for the Tony Woods Project. There are a few recordings on YouTube, here and here. The tune in question has a lovely and irregular rhythm. I could write reams on interesting and fluctuating time signatures, but will save it for later posts. This tune has two bars of 6/8 and one bar of 9/8 per phrase.

The third is a bit of “Seven Stars”, a really common session tune. I probably learned it at Sidmouth, but can’t remember. It’s played up at the squeaky end, which I wasn’t expecting (having not got as far as this on previous takes) and this threw me slightly (as the fingering is different, plus it sounds all squeaky).

I then go into another tune altogether. This is a Morris tune, from the tradition of Bledington. I am a Morris Dancer. Let’s get that over and done with. This tune is Ladies Pleasure and very pleasurable it is too I’m sure. My grandfather pointed out that it is similar to the Sussex Carol, so I go back into the latter at the end.

This is a fun video, hence me sharing it. It’s also interesting for me to see how far I’ve come on in the past year, I now consider this to be substandard, although at the time I was very pleased with it. I got over a plateau in my playing this year and am still improving. Long may it continue!

Stay tuned for gig updates in the near future.

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