Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)

matt milton 17 Mar 10 - 10:35 AM
matt milton 17 Mar 10 - 10:50 AM
Mr Happy 17 Mar 10 - 10:59 AM
matt milton 17 Mar 10 - 11:13 AM
Amos 17 Mar 10 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Mar 10 - 12:12 PM
matt milton 17 Mar 10 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Mar 10 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,boxplayer 01 Mar 13 - 06:31 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: matt milton
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 10:35 AM

I bought Robin Williamson's book 'English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes' (Oak Publications, 1976) a few weeks ago. I've been working my way through some of them, mostly on 5-string banjo.

there's one that's really unusual, called Flee Like a Bird. It's described as a traditional Northumbrian clog dance. I say it's unusual, because it sounds almost a bit ragtime. There are definitely a few notes I'd associate with early jazz, or at least jazzy music-hall, or some of those classical banjo tunes from the turn of the century. It's very chromatic for a traditional English tune.

It also has a slightly unusual rhythm to it: it swings like a waltz, but it's in 4/4 time. One part of it reminds me of the line from that christmas song: "jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock" (!)

Is it a well-known tune? doesn't get many google hits? I assume the title "flee like a bird" is a dialect phoneticisation of 'fly like a bird'.

When you google it you get lots of hits for a traditional american hymn/blues treatment of a song called 'flee as a bird'. The sole match to the actual tune I'm after is this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6phiqs7Dho

...which implies Richard Thompson plays a version, but haven't been able to track it down. This version has an extra part not featured on Robin Williamson's arrangement for fiddle. Any info gratefully received.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: matt milton
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 10:50 AM

managed to hear a tantalising few-seconds snippet of Richard Thompson playing said tune via the amazon music player here:

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Vocal-Richard-Thompson/dp/B000000640/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268837031&sr=8-1


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 10:59 AM

Is it this one http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display/5678?

Click on 'Sound files' to give it a listen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: matt milton
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 11:13 AM

yes, that's the one. thanks very much! It's a bit more detailed, filled-in and hornpipey which I suppose makes it seem a bit more 'normal' than it is in Robin Williamson's book,
some very interesting comments in the comments section too for that tune too.

One of the things I like about it is that rather odd half of a bar with the C-sharp in it. If the tune's in G, which I think it is, that C-sharp is quite a hard one to second-guess in terms of the implied harmony behind it. You could think of the section it's in as being in E-minor, going to B major for that part.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: Amos
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 11:13 AM

Well, birds certainly flee, didn't they?


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 12:12 PM

Matt, thanks for bringing this interesting tune to the world's attention. I was intrigued, so I listened to the video you linked while following the sheet music from the Session.

The tune is in G. When it uses C#'s, it is flirting with the key of D, which is of course, pretty close to G. I've seen that before.

It's the D#'s which surprise me. We already have F#'s, so adding D#'s gives us the B-chord. This is not one of the unusual harmonies for the key of G. To me, it gives the piece an eastern-European feel. Or even a Middle Eastern feel.

That feel, combined with the gently rocking 4/4 rhythm makes for a wonderful and creative piece of music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: matt milton
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 12:29 PM

arrrgh, sorry - I did indeed mean to say D sharp, not C sharp! I'm a real idiot at co-ordinating my brain with my fingers sometimes: wonder sometimes if I might have some kind of very mild dyslexia.

I thought the same thing as you did; that D sharp does sound a little middle eastern.

The only way I could think of to recuperate that D sharp in a more "anglo-american" way - if you wanted to, of course - would be to think of the bar preceding it as being in E minor, modulating to B major (or maybe B dominant 7th) for the D sharp bit.

It would make it sound a little like a slow Django Reinhardt-style swing. Which is kind of how Richard Thompson plays it on the guitar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 07:14 AM

I'm not sure what you mean about dyslexia. The piece as shown at The Session has F#'s, C#'s and D#'s in it. So I think you are all right.

I like strange, creative pieces which don't fit into a mold. (That is, I like them if they work. I don't enjoy weirdness for its own sake.) I believe this piece is a successful creative piece.

I don't think you can explain the D#'s in terms of key change, etc. I think the composer just wanted the piece to sound like that. As I recall, the D#'s are all in one section. In that section, the composer was creating a new tonality.

If we wanted to put chords on those measures, they would probably be B chords, because B is B-D#=F#,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Flee like a bird (fly like a bird?)
From: GUEST,boxplayer
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 06:31 PM

Anglo concertina maker and player Frank Edgley (Canada) recently used this as the title tune for a CD -- brilliantly played!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 June 7:30 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.