CD 6 Square & Contra dance tunes


1. Turkey in the Straw, Winnipeg Reel

2. Reel de Jeune Marie, Old French

3. Crooked Stovepipe, Year of Jubilo

4. Girl I Left Behind, Rakes of Mallow

5. Whiskey Before Breakfast, Morpeth Rant

6. Liberty Two Step, Chinese Breakdown

7. Snow Deer, Silver & Gold

8. Blue Bird, You Married My Daughter But You

       Didn’t, Jeffery Jobin Reels

9. Red Wing, Golden Slippers

10. Aunt May’s Canadian, Rock Valley Jigs

11. Farmer’s Jamboree, First Western Change

12. Northern Breakdown, Montreal Reel

13. Stoneboat, Belfast Jigs

14. Bride of the Wind, Doc Boyd’s Jigs

15. Life On An Ocean Wave, Cumberland Reel Jigs

16. Schottische

  17. Muckin’ O Geordies Byre, Cock O the North


  This is the 6th CD in a set of 7 documenting my tunes. Blackthorn Ceildh Band played for many contra dances all across upstate NY. We were the first live band to play for the Country Dancers of Rochester (CDR). The following notes list my source for these tunes.


       Accordion  CD 6 Square & Contra Dance Tunes, Notes


1. I got this version of the well known American tune ‘Turkey in the Straw’ from Frank Murphy. ‘The Winnipeg Reel’ is from a Jerry’s Hayshakers  record, Copley 8-509  I have not heard the the tune elsewhere. Jerry Toomey was a Cape Breton fiddler who settled in Boston,  had his own radio show on WMEX and ran several  dances.


2. The ‘Reel de Jeune Marie’ and ‘Old French’ are French Canadian tunes played by the New England contra dance bands. I first heard Old French,  or The Rambler’s Hornpipe as it’s called by Ned Landry,  on RCA 55-3312.


3. The ‘Crooked Stovepipe’ is a well known North East country dance tune. My favorite recording is Jim Magill & his Northern Ramblers  on London 16042. Magill was a fiddler from Northern Ireland who settled in Toronto. ‘The Year of Jubilo’, is more of an American country dance tune. I got it off Jerry’s Hayshakers Copley 8-516 .


4. ‘The Girl I left Behind Me’ is a well know International dance tune and was know by the Irish harpers long before there was a Brighton Camp in England. There are several  sets of words that use the melody. The ‘Rakes of Mallow’ is a well know Irish dance tune. It also has words describing the antics of the rakes in the town of Mallow, Co. Cork, Ireland as recorded by Patrick Galvin.


5. I learned this version of ‘Whiskey Before Breakfast’ from Marie Brate, fiddler for Blackthorn Ceilidh Band. I always considered ‘Morpeth Rant’ a New England dance tune. It is popular with North East fiddlers.


6. ‘Liberty Two Step’ and ‘Chinese Breakdown’ are played by many Northeast fiddlers. Blackthorn played ‘Liberty Two Step”. I have Don Messer’s ‘Liberty’ on Apex 9-26394 and his ‘Chinese Bk’ on Apex 9-26442.


7. I learned ‘Snow Deer’ from New Brunswick fiddler Ned Landry’s 78, RCA 57-5084   after hearing it from an old fiddler at the Hemlock Ye Old Fiddlers Picnic in the early 1950’s. ‘Silver & Gold’ is a well known fiddle tune. I always liked the Isidore Soucy recording where he calls it the Reel de la Boutielle, RCA 55-5495.


8. The ‘Bluebird’ medley was assembled by the Blackthorn Ceilidh Band as the Flying French Canadian Four. I left off the Joys of Quebec for this recording because I’d forgotten it. I think my contribution was the Bluebird which I had from Tommy Duchesne who played the 5 row continental chromatic accordion in Montreal. The 78 is Starr 16044. ‘You Married My Daughter But You Didn’t’ came from Duchesne’s record, Starr 16402.


9. I think Kerry Mills Wrote ‘Red Wing’ around 1900 along with a few other fiddle tunes. It also has words. I got it from Ned Landry’s recording, RCA 20-4443, Int. Series. ‘Golden Slippers’ is a well known fiddle tune.


10. ‘Aunt May’s Canadian Jig’ is from Skip Evans, piano & whistle player for Backthorne. ‘Rock Valley Jig’ is a well-known Canadian dance dance tune. I first heard it it on Ned Landry’s RCA 55-4442.


11. I got the ‘Farmer’s Jamboree’ from one of the Jarman tune books, arranged by John Burt. The ‘First Western Change’ is from Don Messer, Apex 9-26387.


12. The ‘Northern Breakdown’ is a Jim Magill tune I learned from his 78 London Green label recording, London 10” lp APB1011. The ‘Montreal Reel’ is a well known French Canadian dance tune.


13. The ‘Stoneboat’ and ‘Belfast Jigs are from Don Messer & his Islanders 78’s, Apex 26406 & Apex 26300.


14. ‘Bride of the Wind’ is a Jim Magill tune. I learned it from Don Messer’s 78, Apex, ‘Doc Boyd’s Jig’ I got from Jerry’s Hayshakers, Copley 78 8-507. It was arranged by John Burt in one of the Jarman books published in Toronto.


15. ‘Life on an Ocean Wave’ is also from one of the Jarman tune books. The ‘Cumberland Reel’, really a jig,  is from a Jimmy Shand and his Band 78, Parlaphone F3467.


16. The Schottische is from memory of Merle Ace’s piano playing. Merle was a good friend from Honeoye Lake in the 1950’s.


17. Last track is, 2 Scottish Jigs paired by Blackthorn,  the Muckin’ Cock. The ‘Muckin’ O' Geordies Byre is a well known ‘Bothy’ song, recorded by Tom Wright, Beltona 2487, and others. ‘Cock O' the North’ provides a nice key change.


   This CD was recorded using a Beltuna Sara 3 accordion,  3 voice MMM, with 2 sets of Artigiana and 1 set of Binci reeds tuned in C#D.