Here are some short videos I've made recently. You can also find these and others on my Youtube channel:
Where swopt the Plover (in its pleasure free)
This tune was inspired by reading the John Clare poem ‘The Mores’ and in particular one verse: But now all’s fled and flats of many a dye That seemed to lengthen with the following eye Moors, loosing from the sight, far, smooth, and blea Where swopt the plover in its pleasure free Are vanished now with commons wild and gay As poet’s visions of life’s early day The whole poem is a poetic protest of the land enclosures that were happening at that time around Helpston, John Clare’s home. My tune itself is intended to suggest the song of the European Golden Plover and it flying over moorland. Taking a line from the above verse I’ve named it ‘Where swopt the plover (in it’s pleasure free)’. Here it is. The song of European Golden Plover tops and tails the video. (The thumbnail is a photo by Nick Goodrum Photography on Foter.com / CC BY)
Biddlestone Hornpipe/Walsh's Hornpipe
Two of my long time favourite hornpipes. The first is by the renowned Northumbrian piper Billy Pigg, and the second is a traditional Irish hornpipe I learnt from the Michael O'Domhnaill and Kevin Burke LP 'Promenade' and over the years I've slightly modified it from this version.
Northern Lass/Metal Man
Two of my favourite tunes. A slow air which I heard played by Kitsyke Will many years ago, drifting over the field at the Towersey Village Festival, and in fact haven't heard anyone else play it since. The second tune is a 6/4 tune written by Robin Dransfield which I first heard played by Barry Dransfield on his Bowin' And Scrapin' LP. I'm playing it in the key of C here. The Metal Man referred to is a 12 foot high, seven ton, iron lighthouse off the coast of County Cork, Ireland, at Rosses Point in Sligo Harbour. As well as the light there is large figure shaped and painted as a Royal Navy Petty Officer, and pointing to safe deeper water.
Bell Schottische/Declaration Schottische/A Summer's Jaunt
Here are three 16 bar schottisches I've written over the last few years, in reverse chronological order. So the first up is The Bell Schottische which I wrote nearly a year ago and named after The Bell Inn Adderbury, where we've had some lovely times (thanks, Chris and Sandy!). Then Declaration Schottische, followed by A Summer's Jaunt. (All in D as it happens).
Lass of Patie's Mill/Peacock's Feather
Lass of Patie's Mill is a well known Scottish song and air. This version is taken from the poet, John Clare, in one of of his manuscripts, and published in George Deacon's excellent book 'John Clare and the Folk Tradition'. In John Clare's ms it has the name of 'Patie's Mill'. As for the second tune, there are two traditional Irish hornpipes called The Peacock's Feather (or Feathers) -this is my take on one of them.