View Full Version : Suggestions for Medley tunes
I am working to learn St Anne's Reel and know that I have heard it before as one of several tunes in medleys. I would appreciate ideas, suggestions, examples of those of you that play St Annes this way.
Here's a way of finding out how others have built St Anne's into sets.
Follow the link below (to the listing of the reel on www.thyesession.org)
You'll see a list of recordings on which the reel has featured. Skim through them and see how some GREAT players have married the reel up with other tunes.
Only thing to watch out for ... allegedly(!) St Anne's is also known as The Skylark and so some of the listings will not mention St Anne's specifically, but some other name! (One of the failings of "thesession" is that the underlying database altough it allows for the fact that tunes often go under a host of names, it doesn't cope so well with the fact that one name can also refer to a host of tunes! Ah well, no-one ever said that Irish music was straightforward; it's as mischievous and capricious as most players!).
In addition to the session list, I should add that there is a great set ending with St Anne's Reel on Hom Bru'sObadeeah (http://www.hombru.co.uk/a2.htm). I goes Chicago Reel/The Scholar/St Anne's, it's all in hornpipe rhythm, and features mandolin throughout. That's where I learned the tune, by leaving out half of the notes Gary Peterson plays.
There is also the simpler but very attractive "Old Timey" version which I first heard on Michelle Shocked's song St Anne's Reel (http://members.lycos.co.uk/glimbo/derivations.htm). Another song you could play the reel in if you are not restricted to instrumental sets is The Ballad of St Anne's Reel (http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/05/reel.htm). It's been recorded many times. The Dubliners version should be easily accessible.
However you play it, it's a great tune.
Thanks so much for pointing me in a direction. You know Aidan, that the same thing happens to American Trad music, same tune different name and so many little variations, that is what makes it fun http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Thanks for the help and look forward to any other suggestions, ideas, places to look, etc.
Since I am here, perhaps someone can answer another question. Gan Ainm, I have seen hundreds of songs with that one name. Are they variations of the same theme? What does Gan Ainm translate to in English? What is the nature and history of Gan Amin?
Having just begun to explore the vast Irish repertoire, I am still a nascent beginner, but a curious one. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
Gan ainm is from the Irish, meaning literally without name. There are hundreds of tunes out there which have never been given a name or, more commonly, have a name but the player's now forgotten it.
Not to be confused with gan anam, which means literally without soul or without spirit and describes playing which I've encountered many times in sessions (ho, ho). Sometimes emanating from my own playing!
Gan amin ... sounds to me like present-day Uganda! (Sorry for the little joke ... meant in a good-natured way, Harlan!)
I tend to resemble gan anam myself http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
I am guessing that since gan ainm are those tunes without names, that the only way to know which one anybody is talking about is to hear it first, more of an aural tradition, rather than one that is spoken.
Is there anyone, or are there musicologists that work to unravel and qauntify these, or are they mainly handed down from one session to another geographically?
Our trio always marries it to "Whiskey 'Fore Breakfast".
My family band medleys these, somewhat flexibly with others depending on our whim of the moment:
Fisher's HP (in D)
Old French (D and A)
St. Anne's Reel (D)
Slider's Reel (D and A, a tune I wrote)
Saratoga HP (F and Dm)
Thanks Don and Dave,
We do play Whiskey Before Breakfast, so that might be a good one to marry since we already play it. I am working on the Fisher's HP also as I work with St. Annes.....hadn't considered that as a possibility but I like it. I am not familiar with Old French and Saratoga, but will look them up.
My band used to play St. Anne's then Ships are Sailing, then Maid Behind the Bar. Then we got tired of St. Anne's so we play Green Fields of Rothspey (sp?) instead.
Red Haired Boy leads into St. Anne's Reel nicely (I always practice both that way), and, although I haven't tried it yet, The Fox as arranged by Jay Buckey probably would too, given the similarity to Red Haired Boy.
The one's in bold we have already played and know farily well, so they would be easily assimilated, but I am always looking to expand our knowledge base.
Chicago Reel/The Scholar/Whiskey 'Fore Breakfast /Fisher's HP/Old French/Saratoga HP/Ships are Sailing/Maid Behind the Bar /Arkansas Traveler /Red Haired Boy /St. Anne's Reel
Looking at the session listing that Aidan sent me too, These are some that I found also:
The Sally Gardens\The Ships Are Sailing\The Wild Irishman\The Coalminer\The Skylark(St Anne's)
The Wise Maid\St. Anne's\The Sally Gardens
The Humours Of Tulla\The Skylark(St Anne's)\Roaring Mary
St. Anne's\The Scholar
And there are various others too numerous to list. I like all of the ideas everyone suggested. Wish I could put them all together....lolol....but I have much to learn yet about music, playing, and performing.
So I have a ancillary question. When you put a medley together, what is your goal for using a medley rather than showcasing that tune with a stand-a-lone position in the line-up?
Thanks all for all of the great feedback!!
In Scotland, St Anne's Reel is quite often teamed up with Willafjord.
This is completely off-the-wall and out-of-genre, but Derek & the Dominoes's "Layla" -- especially the 2nd section -- the piano-driven ending after all the vocals -- segues very neatly into St. Anne's Reel, if you play it in D instead of original key -- might be Eb.
We usually play St. Anne's Reel in a medley with Ragtime Annie, and Liberty, all in D. If we want to cut it short, it is usually paired with Liberty.
I've heard it coupled with Blackberry Blossom as well, which worked nicely to my ears!