Here is the latest list of tunes I have written over the years. Click on each individual tune title to go to the the dots, midis, and ABCs of each tune. Click here to see a list of tunes by tune type (polka, jig, hornpipe, etc). I'd be interested to know if you should play any of my tunes at a session or performance, and grateful if you acknowledge my authorship.
I have now also produced a spiral bound book of all my tunes, which is available for £5 incl UK p&p - contact me if you are interested in buying a copy.
You can also click here to go to the page with the dots, midis and ABCs of all the tunes. I have also added recordings of me playing them - look for the audio player, with a photo of me, next to the tunes.
The abc notation is a system developed by Chris Walshaw for notating music in plain text format. There are a number of programmes for editing, displaying and printing music using ABC. See http://abcnotation.com/ for more information and a number of ABC resources including a tune search.
I wrote this after playing Le Canal en Octobre, a tune title mis-heard and mis-translated in the Cheltenham area for a while as 'The Duck'.
a tune I originally called by a different name. When I wanted to change its name, this punning title became the obvious choice.
written for a fiddle I found in an 'antiques' shop in Alston in Cumbria.
written in April 1988.
written after watching pippistrelle bats flying around at dusk.
a tune I wrote for the wedding of two very good friends, Baz and Joy Parkes.
a tune we used for a dance of the same name in Redbornstoke Morris. A Bedfordshire Clanger is a pastry that has a savoury filling at one end and a sweet filling at the other, serving as a main course and dessert in one bake. It was originally enjoyed as a lunch snack for farm labourers
a tune I wrote for Nottingham Swing for my new band Bosun Higgs. I named the tune after the excellent pub in Adderbury run by Sandra and Chris Shallis, whose cottage we used for weekend rehearsals.
this was written following a day out on the bikes with the boys.
two slightly different versions of the essentially the same tune, the first is a dotted, step hop, hornpipe, the second, also with some melody changes, more of a smooth hornpipe.
Bunyan's Orchard is in Harlington, Beds where I was living at the time. John Bunyan used to preach from the still-standing Bunyan's Oak in Harlington.
written at the same time as Deed Polka, named for the the same event.
a pun on 'Deed Poll' - a significant event in my life at the time I wrote it.
a lovely day out with Greg, my son.
a tune that came to me in a dream, almost fully formed.
Fir Tree Place is in Rodborough, Stroud, where I once stayed for a few days.
this is meant to be a descriptive title.
that was how long it took to me write this tune.
named after the road where Jon Swayne, from Blowzabella, lives and has his instrument workshop.
a tune I wrote for my son, Greg. As it is a rant tune, I couldn't resist the pun.
This was written on a cold, wet, sleet and snowy Saturday in January 2021. I just started playing around on my fiddle, and the A music appeared. A little bit more work and some re-work and tidying up, and I had a new 48 bar jig. I called it Higgs' Jig for my band 'Bosun Higgs English Country Dance Band'
... and lovely it was too.
named after a long-gone pub in Hitchin which used to hold regular music sessions, led by the landlord.
the result of homework from my then saxophone tutor to write a tune on the saxophone.
Keldy Forest is near Pickering in North Yorkshire.
I wrote this tune when I had a bit of time before going to work....
the title sums up the relaxed feeling of this schottische.
the first, 32 bar, version of a jig I wrote for Cath Chandler, then the English String Band needed a 48 bar jig, so Rob Neal wrote a new A part, I wrote the C part, and with the original B part, here it is.
written over a lunch break from work
this tune was inspired by Alan Rawlinson, who, on hearing that I had moved into a Park Home, jokingly noted that I was now 'Trailer Trash' -apparently an American term. I decided to go for the more 'polite' Park Home Polka.
a polka written for my step son.
a favourite local walking area
one of my favourite parts of England, and one I try to get back to at least once a year and walk up Pendle Hill
a challenge from Tim Normanton to write a tune about a camping kettle he had borrowed from Pete.
written for my wedding to Jan in the Pittville Pump Rooms, Cheltenham, and played by the first incarnation of the English String Band as Jan walked down the aisle for the ceremony.
I originally wrote this as a 6/8 tune (see above), then realised it worked very well as a common time 16 bar schottische. This is the opposite way to Glakey Hornpipe, for example, which Ernest Kirkby originally wrote as a schottische but is now often played as 6/8 jig.
written in honour of my favourite brewery, Timothy Taylor of Keighly, West Yorkshire.
I've forgotten why I named this tune thus (I think it was something to do with 3 Round 3), but I was very chuffed when Nigel Chippendale liked and played it.
I wrote this at a time I was often going to Hull and visiting friends. It is a rather 'crooked' tune - see below for a regularised version.
This is a regularised version of the crooked tune of the same name (see above)
This tune and in particular its title was inspired by the following couplet from John Clare's poem 'The Mores': Moors, losing from the sight, far, smooth and blea,/Where swopt the plover in its pleasure free. The tune itself intends to suggest the song of the European Golden Plover, and it swooping over moorland. (Note that blea is an old Norse word for blue. There is a Blea Tarn in Eskdale and also in Langdale, in the Lake District)
I originally wrote this as slow tune in C when I was going through a difficult time - hence the title, but optimism won out and it has turned into this reel in G.
Woodchester Mansion is an unfinished, Gothic revival mansion house in Woodchester Park, near Nympsfield, Gloucestershire, set in a beautiful valley with lovely walks. The mansion is now home to Greater and Lesser Horseshoe Bats. See https://www.woodchestermansion.org.uk/ for more information on Woodchester Mansion.