Week #176 ~ Lark in the Morning

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Lark in the Morning, which was submitted as an IT tune. I'm not familiar with this tune, and Googling it got me quite a few results.

    Here is a link to the tune on thesession.org

    and the abc from that link:

    X: 1
    T: Lark In The Morning, The
    M: 6/8
    L: 1/8
    R: jig
    K: Dmaj
    |:AFA AFA|BGB BdB|AFA AFA|fed BdB|
    AFA AFA|BGB BdB|def afe|dBB BdB:|
    |:def afe| bff afe|def afe|dBB BdB|
    def afe|bff afe|g2e f2d|edB BdB:|
    |:dff fef|fef fef|dff fef|edB BdB|
    dff fef|fef def|g2e f2d|edB BdB:|
    |:Add fdd|edd fdd|Add fdd|edB BdB|
    Add fdd|edB def| g2e f2d|edB BdB:|

    Here is a link to the tune on abcnotation.com

    and the abc from that link:

    T:The lark in the morning
    B:Francis O'Neill: "The Dance Music of Ireland" (1907) no. 240
    R:Double jig
    Z:Transcribed by Frank Nordberg - http://www.musicaviva.com
    B,|[B,2E2] c BGE|D2d AFD|[B,2E2]c BAF|GFE e2(e/f/|g)fe dcB|(A/B/A).G FED|EFG ABc|BGF E2:|
    |:B|eBe (g<b).f|dAd (f<a).f|eBe (g<b).e|(f<a).f (g<b).e|(f<a).f gfe|(d{e/d/}cd) AFD|EFG ABc|BGF E2:|
    W: From Musica Viva - http://www.musicaviva.com
    W: the Internet center for free sheet music downloads.
  2. Eddie Sheehy
    2 different tunes. I assume we're going with the first one - D Maj.

    and will you look at the young Paul Brady...

  3. Eddie Sheehy
    Here's mine on a 1919 Gibson A4...

  4. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Hope you can hear the awakening of the lark in the 3rd part:

  5. cwboal
    Nice playing Eddie and Manfred; I'm not sure if it was a horned lark, meadowlark or some other lark, but I heard it waking up! I'm looking forward to learning this one.
  6. cjprince
    One of my favorite tunes to play. Somebody posted this as an "other" tune a few weeks back. Here's the video I put up for that post. The second tune is a slip jig called Andrew Carr, which I learned from Abby Newton's fantastic cello CD called Castles, Kirks and Caves.

  7. llamela
    Apologies, I cannot but throw in the name of Vaughn Williams' Lark Ascending. Put simply, Williams manages to imbibe his music with the tangible quality of a Lark in its morning ascension - to the extent it is referred to as a 'tone-poem'. I think I am correct in saying that the Lark is European bird, and so Williams offers a lens to interpret something of tone of the tune.

  8. eamonn
    Hi, I watch the posts regularly and often scroll through old posts when looking for tunes, by the way am in Galway, Ireland and playing mandolin about a yearnow, belong to a group called the Dusty Banjos who meet in Galway and we attempt to learn a tune a week which build up into sets every three weeks, anyway I am having trouble viewing some posts as there is just a blank space where a video box should be, is this because they have been removed or am i missing some precious bit of software, you are doing great work guys and maybe when I am up to speed I might be able to post something, sorry for messing with Lark in the Morning, regards, Eamonn
  9. cjprince
    Hey Eamonn - I think that when there is a blank spot, the videos have been removed. If you can see other videos, I suspect that is the case.
  10. peddyrmac
    This is one of those song names that have a few different tunes attached. I recorded this a while back when I had more time. The banjo wasn't sounding good and I have since tightened the head and might re-record it on a now much better sounding weapon.
  11. CelticDude
    Here are my two videos of this jig, both times paired with Morrison's jig. The newest is on a Jon Mann electric octave mandolin, while the older one is a Collings MT.

    Note that no actual larks were harmed in the making of these 2 videos, although I did annoy a sparrow and inconvenience a squirrel...
  12. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Recently got to know this tune, glad no larks were harmed by your version, CelticDude. Oh my, that is a young Paul Brady, or at least his glasses, Eddie. Eddie's version sounds closest to the version I've heard played, and everyone's interpretations are great. I love this on the banjo, peddrymac. I also really like your pull-offy thingies, Manfred. Hope to get enough time off of work to post a version before next year, lol.
  13. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Thanks cwboal and Loretta.
    Loretta, the 'pull-offy thingies' are actually TRILLS.
    I play 3 notes for one eighth note. Hammer-on-pull-off.
    I have several notations for this tune and they all show TRILLS, which I think is very appropriate in the lark context.

    Nice playing everyone. Super clean fast picking and great triplets by Celtic Dude and peddyrmac. CJ, nice picking, too.
  14. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    First time in a long while that I got the time to record a clip in the actual week for the tune. There are a number of tunes by this name, and at least one song. This one is I think the most common jig for the title -- I first heard this in the version by Fairport Convention on the great Liege & Lief album from 1969, arguably the one track that started the whole electric ceili band folk/rock thing. They play it about five times my speed though...

    Recorded on my Mid-Mo M-0W mandolin and Ozark tenor guitar (playing the rhythm and joining in the tune after the first eight bars). Curiously, I found I had to slow down quite a bit below the speed at which I can cleanly play it on mandolin, as I couldn't lay down a clean guitar rhythm at my preferred picking speed. Probably need to practice my rhythm playing more.


    [Edit: I had changed the video to private when I put up my unaccompanied take, but I've now made it public again -- the take is quite different and I'm warming to the sound of the tenor guitar and mandolin in unison on this one.]
  15. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I recorded another take of this tune this morning on my Ajr -- the version I posted yesterday was a bit slow because I couldn't keep the tracks aligned during overdubbing when I tried to go faster. This one is solo, and a bit more my natural speed. Still not lightning fast but better. I also like the tone of the Ajr on this tune.

  16. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This tune was posted as an "Other Tune" a couple of months ago. Here's the link to that discussion!
  17. Francis J
    Francis J
    Here's a quick take, on two Joe Foley mandolins, Well actually one played twice!. Unfortunately I left out the fourth part on the second round, and some other slips.....
  18. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Wow! I like seeing these ovals ... especially the old Gibsons! I used to know this song. (g) Here's a quick and dirty and not very Irish version.

  19. laura809
    It's nice to see lots of activity on this thread. I liked your not very Irish version Mike. Here is my slow version.

  20. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    So much going on here. I especially liked Francis' multivoiced C part and Laura's harmonies.
    For those who tried to associate a lark and made their renditions extra-larkish (Manfred: so many HOPOs!): read what Ciaran Carson has to say about this tune in his book "Last Night's Fun" (or rather not, because it's bad news).

    My own is rather straightforward as usual. Frankly, my favourite part is the A part, because that's the most relaxed one.

  21. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Nice take, Bertram. Your version has quite a different rhythm from the one I (and most others) have chosen -- many more quarter notes punctuating the tune. Sounds nice!

    No idea what Ciaran Carson said about the title of this tune, but the song of the same name indeed references actual birds (as a metaphor for for true love or for adultery, depending on how one reads the lyrics):

    “Lay still my fond shepherd and don't you rise yet
    It's a fine dewy morning and besides, my love, it is wet.”

    “Oh let it be wet my love and ever so cold
    I will rise my fond Floro and away to my fold.”

    “Oh no, my bright Floro, it is no such thing
    It's a bright sun a-shining and the lark is on the wing.”

    Oh the lark in the morning she rises from her nest
    And she mounts in the air with the dew on her breast
    And like the pretty ploughboy she'll whistle and sing
    And at night she will return to her own nest again

    When the ploughboy has done all he's got for to do
    He trips down to the meadows where the grass is all cut down.

  22. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    I've really enjoyed this week's postings. Everyone sounds great. I especially enjoyed Manfred's "trills." Very nice. Thanks to all for posting.
  23. fsusubdad
    Been absent for a while but I have been lurking! This one is played on my 2008 Weber Vintage A I recently acquired off the cafe! Arrangement is from Adam Granger (Granger's Fiddle Tunes for Guitar) - so thanks to Adam.

  24. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Mike O, Thanks for liking my trills.

    Francis, that's an amazing sound with your two mandolins. Great picking, too.
    Mike R, near-demonic speed and nice picking and arrangement.
    Laura, very nice picking and accompaniment, as always.
    fsusubdad, welcome back with nice, clean picking.
    Bertram, great forceful picking as always.
    And Bertram, I don't care what Ciaran Carson writes. The music I have clearly suggests the lark context and it is fun to play 'extra-larkish'. Here is my story from 'Fiddle Tunes and Irish Music for Mandolin:
    'A town's two best fiddlers were bitter rivals, each one claiming to be the better musician. It was decided one evening that they would have a competition to prove who was the best in town. they began exchanging tunes around sunset and the contest wore on through the night. Each tune was played faster and more furiously than the one before. Finally, at the crack of dawn, a lark's song was heard above the fiddlers' din. The two men were humbled by the beauty of this natural song; they proclaimed the lark to be the winner of the contest, and they became fast friends.'
    Food for thought ....
  25. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Thanks Martin and Manfred.
    Well, Carson's point was, if I remember it correctly, that tune titles are just tags attributed to the tune in an arbitrary manner, and that therefore interpreting too much imagery into the tune might go astray from the circumstances that originally led to the name. There certainly are "onomatopoeic tunes" (e.g. Tripping Down the Stairs or Butterfly), but I am not sure Lark in the Morning is one of them (unless, of course, you intentionally add ornaments to that effect, but you are entitled to do that to every tune). Considering that "having a lark" means having fun (preferably of sexual nature) in Irish slang, the circumstances in question may or may not be connected to a bird at all.
    Many of the stories around tune titles were created after the tune was written - that is a perfectly legal part of Celtic storytelling and in fact of any living tradition (no mystery no fun), but it also means that we don't really know what the composer had in mind, whoever it was.

    Songs are a different matter, of course - songs have lyrics, i.e. they are supposed to make sense. Can't expect that from a tune
  26. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Llamela- your posting the piece by Vaughan Williams was very appropriate as he was an expert in folk tunes and used them widely in his compositions. In fact I find that he collected this very song and published it in 1903.
    My version is a jig which seems to be based on the song as sung by The Johnstons and THe Dubliners. The music comes from Ryan's Mammoth Collection page 14.
  27. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Try again
  28. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    Nice tune M.M.. Any idea where one might find abc for this version?
  29. Eddie Sheehy
    The second ABC at the top of the thread is for a version in Em...
  30. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    Jim - I found the ABC's on abcnotation.com. MM - Thanks for this version. Nicely played.

    T: The Lark in the Morning
    P:Ryan's version
    |:BA|G2E2E2 E2G2A2|B2A2B2 B2d2B2|A2F2D2 D2F2A2|A2F2A2 A2B2c2|
    B2E2E2 E2G2A2|B2A2B2 B2e2e2|d2B2B2 B2A2B2|G2E2E2 E4:|
    |:e2|e2B2e2 e2f2g2|f2d2d2 d4e2|d2A2d2 d2e2d2|B2A2A2 A4e2|
    e2B2e2 e2f2g2|a2g2f2 g2f2e2|d2B2B2 B2A2B2|G2E2E2 E4:|
  31. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    Awesome, thanks Mike.
  32. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I proudly announced "Lark in the Morning". So I played the Ryan's Em one and everyone else launched into the D Mayor one.

    There is a good chance for such a surprise with many Irish tunes - Pipe on the Hob, The Pullet, Toss the Feathers are examples I stumbled over. It's an intentional part of the fun. It's also one of the reasons some musicians don't bother to remember names at all ("can you play that diddley-dee-tadaaa?"). The information age version of "diddley-dee-tadaa" is called "ABC"
  33. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Speaking of different tunes with the title Lark In The Morning, there is also this song recorded by Steeleye Span in 1970, which has similar lyrics to the one sung by the Dubliners but is otherwise quite different:

    This may also be a good point at which to post the classic Fairport Convention arrangement of the jig, recorded in 1969. No relation whatsoever to the Steeleye version, except that Ashley Hutchings plays bass on both recordings...

  34. Doghearty
    I think cj pretty much nailed it.
  35. cjprince
    Thanks, Dog!!!
  36. llamela
    Well here finally is my version. I've transposed the tune into - well not quite the minor key, more Arabesque... less 'Lark', more 'Dark'.

  37. Kristibob
    This is the word that sprung to my mind, llamela - WOW!
  38. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Love this, llamela! Dark lark from further South.
  39. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Simply astonishing... great harp like tones and a relentless percussive drive.
  40. llamela
    Thank you Michael. Indeed, I was thinking of a loom whilst playing.
  41. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey

    The Lark. Edited short due to my friend's clipping issues.
  42. Gelsenbury
    Impressive! How did you record that? Coincidentally, I'm just considering this as one to learn...
  43. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Well done, albeit under pressure (apparently and understandably) - your friend has got the knives ready, after all

    Ever since our local Virtual Session project I know how hard it is to play along to somebody else's fast timing without the real-time feedback a physical session would provide, so my hat is off to you.
  44. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Wow, Busketeer, that is an inspiring version, I did Red haired boy in a similar key, have to try this. Thanks.

    Talk about fast Mike! Good, clean picking, you did well to keep together for that amount of time, there must be a delay over the wires too, thanks for posting this, have to get the tab out and give it a go.
  45. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great effort there, Mike, especially dealing with possible timelag and latency issues. It is a really driving tune too.
  46. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Thanks, y'all.
  47. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    Trying some new things with Logic Pro.

  48. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Very professional production, Mike. Lots going on and lots to listen to. Are some of the background instruments midi ones added through your Logic Pro. The Bodhran is a very pleasing sound in your mix.. It is interesting to listen to this latest offering and then compare it to some of your previous postings where you are playing only one instrument.

    Do you think you have a preference for your newfound layered productions, or do you still enjoy the "purity" of the single instrument? I know when I do multi-tracking projects I often end up thinking that I maybe prefer my simpler versions, but the multi-tracks are so much fun to get your teeth into.
    As usual, very fine playing of a really great tune.
  49. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    At heart I’m a purist, John. But ...

    For a long time, and a long time ago, I played electric guitar. I got fed up with the volume, pedals, distortion, amps and all of that and got interested instead in playing fiddle tunes. The purity of that really interested me. It’s where my true interest is.

    But I’m also pretty obsessive compulsive. Trying to get a good simple mandolin recording is a whole other world in itself. And once you delve into how the software works, then suddenly there are lots of options.

    I think my ultimate aim is sill the simplicity and purity of a fiddle tune, but with the ability to explore other things that can be done with it.

    I’m working on “The Skylark” reel and thinking it would be fun to write a simple string quartet-type accompaniment, maybe with a second mandolin part as the second violin, and mandola, guitar and maybe bass (which would have to be via software, because I don’t have an upright).
  50. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Aye, Mike, I can see the bug has really bitten here! I too love the simplicity of fiddle tunes, especially our Scottish slow airs, whether of Gaelic origins or from the pens of the Gows, Skinner, Marshall or the great modern composers of Scottish music. The mandolin's lack of sustain is always a hurdle to be tackled on slow airs, but then its sharp attack and lack of sustain are bonuses on the faster tunes. I too played electric guitar for many years from my teens onwards before dicovering the mandolin family.

    Your recordings always bring a lot of pleasure to the listener (and viewer) and I look forward to many more from you, whether pure and simple or enhanced with the wonders of our modern software!
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