You may download/print/share any of the tunes listed below for personal non-commercial uses, sessions, or playing for dancers.
These melodies are generally suited for fiddle, flute, whistle, piano and other instruments used in the playing of traditional dance music, and are variously intended to accompany contra, Irish, or English country dancers. The tunes themselves are small autobiographical paintings that present a small insight into what I was thinking or feeling as I noodled around on my pennywhistle, fiddle, guitar, or piano. Most were conceived in a very short time. Many of the tunes are written in keys that vary from the common "C" "D", "G" or "A" tunes (and their relative minor keys) that are currently used for American traditional dance melodies. These reflect an urge on my part to stray from these keys in an attempt to think and play in other modes and keys, and to avoid repeating ideas that had arisen in the standard keys. You are more than welcome to transpose these tunes into keys that are more playable on your instrument if you desire.
Tunes were transcribed in ABC 2.0 format using evolving beta versions of the freeware program ABCexplorer, and converted to sheet music. At present, only .pdf versions of the sheetmusic are available. The links below open full-screen .pdf files hosted by Scribd. To return to this page after viewing the sheet music, simply press the "Back" button of your browser.
The Ghillie of Drumacoon Bog - Perhaps the oldest shoe from Irish archaeological sites.
Ginger's Moving Day
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - cf. "The Wind in The Willows" childrens' story.
Silver Queen - Named for that favorite Southern hybrid sweet corn variety.
Summer So Fair
Seneschal Bruyn and His Lady - Characters in one of Balzac's "Droll Stories".
Chasing the Hare - (4 parts)
Down the Meadow Green
The Priest's New Buckles
Johnny at the Well - Perhaps one of my best efforts to date.
The Lost Balloon - My first original tune. I play it in "D" on the pennywhistle.
Fancy the Preacher
Two Oceans Lake
The Lancashire Clog-maker - For the Lancashire gentleman who by hand fashioned my wife's English Waltz-Clog shoes. He deserves to jig once in a while.
The Stately Jig - perhaps in some states anyway.
The Dutchman's Breeches
The Cuckoo and the Corncrake
Percy's Pennon - Won from Sir Henry Percy by the Earl Douglas at the Battle of Otterburn.
Cruzat's Fiddle - Pierre Cruzat and his fiddle accompanied Lewis & Clark to the Pacific in 1805-1806.
The Speckled Perch - A favorite Southern gamefish - when they're biting.
Godspeed and Discovery, Susan Constant - Sister ships of the English Virginia Company that carried the first colonists to Jamestown in 1607.
Work Life-Play Life
Les Bateaux de Notre-Dame-de-bon-Secours - Named for the ex-voto ship models hanging in that church in Montreal.
The Goose Girl Kissed me on May Day Morn - What, no maid that tends geese in your village? For my friends who celebrate May Day with homemade baskets, gifts, flowers, Maypoles, Morris dancing, and spring flowers all 'round.
John's Maze - For my friend and architect, Uillean Piper John Maze.
Other 4/4 Meter
Country Dance - Not quite a reel. This one may better be suited for English Country Dance figures.
The CCC Hornpipe - Curiously transcribed in jig-time (6/8). My grandfather was a "CCC Boy". Note the "CCC" figures that end certain phrases.
One For Fergus - One more leg, that is. Fergus: our 3-legged Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
The Cellarkeep's Candle
High Springs Hornpipe - The quaint north-central Florida town we reside in.
Bananas Foster - Because desserts get so little attention these days.
Green Ribbon Hornpipe
Martial Strathspey - A Mixolydian mode.
Dungeness House - Named for the ruins of the 59-room Scottish mansion of 200 servants built by the brother of Andrew Carnegie on Cumberland Island, one of the Georgia Sea Islands, now maintained by the US Nat'l Park Service.
The Cloughey Lifeboat - Historic Irish Lifeboat. The Cloughey Station was relocated to Portaferry, Co. Down.
Croxall's Elbow Room - Curiously named 112-acre tract of land patented in 1750 in Baltimore Co. MD. by Richard Croxall. MD State Archives.
The Loose Cart Wheel - The melody wobbles back and forth between standard G major and Mixolydian modes.
The Country Bride
A Countryman's Year
The Hedgelayer's Hook - Billhook - the ancient agrarian machete-like tool of the UK.
Little Margaret - Remembers a picture of my mother as a child, and all the other Margarets in her lineage.
Waltz of the Mysteries
Salt Marsh Sunset - Salt marshes are my favored Southern natural system.
We Happy Few - Named for the famous St. Crispin's Day speech in Shakespeare's Henry V: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers..."
The Hesitant Bride
Valse du Pommadeur - Old French slang for a furniture maker/seller who conceals flaws in his wares by means of colored wax or paint.
A Year and a Day
North Country Summer - Recalls oft-remembered summer days in St. Albans and Burlington, Vermont; Montreal, and Toronto, Canada.
Waltz in E - A bit dramatic with its chords based on the accidental D-natural (B-minor & D-major).
Waltz in F minor - Odd tune with B- and E-naturals where they'd otherwise be flatted. Sort of a spooky Halloween feel.
A Mother's Tears
We Few, We Idle Few - evokes the precious blessing of idleness. A Dorian mode.
The Fisherwife's Waltz
The 45th Parallel Waltz - named for the map feature that passes through my home state of Idaho.
The Threshers' Parade (The Harvest Is Done) - 2/4 meter tune
The Grim Pilgrim - A Dorian for those who like "modal tunes".
The Seven Stars of Summer - The Big Dipper, Great Bear, Ursa Major.
For Want of a Corkscrew - Perhaps "Never for Want of" - I own several hundred antique corkscrews.
Softly Sang the Larks in Spring
tags: traditional music, fiddle tunes, dance music, jig, reel, hornpipe, slip jig, contra dance, square dance, country dance, Irish dance, English, pennywhistle, flute, piano, guitar, accordion, New England