I'm making a list of tunes that you can play forever. I don't have a lot of them yet. My goal is that I will suggest some friends and I have a jam where we play the tunes on the list instead of going around the circle. We'll play each one for 15 or 20 minutes straight until we go completely loopy. Here's what I've got so far, and yes, almost any tune really could make such a list, but this is what I've got so far:
Dandy Lusk - It has that quality of being a simple tune without a lot of stuff in it. You can play the B part high or low, so you can go back and forth with something to look forward to the next time.
Jim Armastead - Also a simple tune. It has a way of resolving one part into the next in a way that makes you never feel like you can stop it.
Mummers March - (Not sure I got the title right.) I don't even think this is a whole tune. It's so unsatisfying you keep playing hoping it will turn into a real tune.
Long Train - It's one of those two-key tunes so once you get to the end of the B part, you just have to play the A part to try and resolve it, but once you get to the end of the A part, you have to go into the B part. You can't end this tune. But unlike another two-key tune we play, Puncheon Floor, it's not saccharine.
Five Miles from Town - It sounds like a train. If it's a train, it must go on forever.
I'm gonna have to look them up on youtube...don't know any of them...but I do love forever tunes, so I'm gonna check 'em out.
Free Bird? Jessica?
Sorry, I'm not making light, I just don't have anything in mind immediately. Though I would think most any OT song would qualify. "Ducks in the Millpond" maybe.
Edit: Or, any of the "Sally Gooden", "Ida Red", "Pig in a Pen"-type tunes. They all have words, however much you want to sprinkle them amongst the numerous times around.
For Irish, I would always nominate Irish Washerworman/Swallowtail Jig
Edited by - Flat_the_3rd_n7th on 07/12/2021 19:15:24
Great tunes. Thanks for the links, Diane. I've heard the Five Miles from Town...didn't realize wht the name of that one was. The others I don't think I've heard...great-sounding tunes.
I think so long as the majority of players know the tune (or can catch on easily) many tunes would work. Its hard to suggest titles for another group though.
I like the idea of sustaining tunes for a full 15 minutes or so, though. And I think it would help get players out of the mindset of impressing each other, and just get "in the zone." It sounds boring until you do it. It's confidence building for newbies, and confidence busting for show-offs. You have to actually listen to each other.
Soldier's Joy. It moves up and down the scale with simplicity and energy. It falls naturally under the fingers when played in its now accustomed key of D (in earlier times it was supposedly played in C).
Lundy's "Ducks on the Mill Pond" has a great groove and I like to double each section so it is a two part contra dance length (32 bars rather than the 16 it is).
Mummers March stuck in my head. finally figured it to be part of an old song called Singing the Travels...it was on an album by Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior and June Tabor), or that's what I thought.
SO it sounds like you're looking for tunes that you can play ad nauseum. If that's right, I have a few suggestions.
* Old Blue Sow, from Enos Canoy
* Sequatchie Valley fr. Bob Douglas
* Apple Blossom and other tunes from Lusk, Gribble & York
* Nine Days in Bethel fr. Tara Nevins
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