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Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!

GUEST,Pattroglyph 13 Mar 14 - 08:43 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 14 - 08:54 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 14 - 09:00 AM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Mar 14 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Mar 14 - 09:18 AM
Dave Hanson 13 Mar 14 - 09:37 AM
Newport Boy 13 Mar 14 - 12:03 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Mar 14 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery 13 Mar 14 - 03:30 PM
Cool Beans 13 Mar 14 - 05:00 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Mar 14 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Mar 14 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,michaelr 14 Mar 14 - 12:30 AM
Bert 14 Mar 14 - 01:26 AM
Tangledwood 14 Mar 14 - 02:36 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 14 Mar 14 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,kenny 14 Mar 14 - 05:49 AM
JohnInKansas 14 Mar 14 - 06:31 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Mar 14 - 06:49 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Mar 14 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 14 Mar 14 - 08:21 AM
GUEST 14 Mar 14 - 08:27 AM
GUEST 14 Mar 14 - 09:43 AM
GUEST 14 Mar 14 - 09:58 AM
Dave Hanson 14 Mar 14 - 10:22 AM
bubblyrat 14 Mar 14 - 02:31 PM
Bert 14 Mar 14 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,gillymor 14 Mar 14 - 03:37 PM
Snuffy 18 Mar 14 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Jon Heslop 18 Mar 14 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Mar 14 - 12:09 PM
GUEST 18 Mar 14 - 12:23 PM
PHJim 19 Mar 14 - 02:01 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 14 - 05:37 AM
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Subject: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Pattroglyph
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 08:43 AM

There are a myriad of weird and crazy tune names out there.
Put the Leg on Her
Shove the Pig's Foot a Little Further in the Fire
Nail the Cat Fish to the Tree
Old Hag you have Killed Me
Squirrel Heads and Gravy
What's your funny tune name?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 08:54 AM

The Left-handed Wanker


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 09:00 AM

The Farting Badger
The Freudian Slip jig
The Hump in the Quilt
The Hairy Chested Frog


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 09:05 AM

the traditional Australian tune - the Black Cat Piddled in the White Cat's Eye


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 09:18 AM

My mother was drowned in the pool at Lourdes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 09:37 AM

From O'Neills 1001 Gems,
Kitty Got A Clinking Coming From The Races.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 12:03 PM

Naked Ladies and Electric Ragtime - Michael Chapman c.1970

Phil


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 12:31 PM

I believe it's been discussed here before. One thread is at Typical Country Song Titles.

There is a web "index" to Wacky (but hip) actual C&W Song Titles.

The index includes such classics as "Al K. Hall & Nick K. Teen" by George Hamilton IV. I don't recall ever hearing "Frozen 400 Pound Fair-To-Middlin Cotton Picker, The" by Johnny Cash, but it's included in the list.

It runs through "Your Wife Is Cheatin' On Us Again" by Wayne Kemp."

John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 03:30 PM

Careful with that Axe Eugene.......Pink Floyd I think,
The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue.....No Idea of origin, just remember seeing the title on an album in the 60's or thereabouts.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Cool Beans
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:00 PM

Smash the Windows. (Old fiddle tune, which I think is how this thread began...)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:08 PM

One might question "Nail the Catfish to a Tree" being called "Weird and Crazy." That's a pretty standard method of holding 'em down while ya clean 'em among a fair number of fisherpersons. (Most suitable for the 30 to 60 lb ones, but it depends some on the species.)

John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:18 PM

If we are going outside the folk area, The song of McGilliecully the pusilanemous or don't worry James your socks are hanging in the coal cellar with Thomas, by Egg.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,michaelr
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 12:30 AM

I think the OP was talking about "tunes" in the sense of "instrumental music mostly played on the fiddle".

In that vein I offer "An Phish Fluach" aka "The Smelly Cunt".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 01:26 AM

Morpeth Rant.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Tangledwood
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 02:36 AM

The Hole in the Harper's Head. (Bucca)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:14 AM

Bert found "Morpeth Rant" weird and/or crazy? Hmmm

A Rant is a dance and Morpeth is a pleasant Northumbrian town - I think I bought a corduroy jacket there last time I visited.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:49 AM

"The Floating Crowbar"
"Upstairs In A Tent"

Mike Katz of "The Battlefield Band" , I think it was, wrote a tune called "Mother Farquhar's" reel.

Alistair Anderson had a few good traditional Northumbrian ones which I remember him introducing at Aberdeen Folk Club in the 80s :

"Gallop And Shite", and "Geld Him, Lassies, Geld Him"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 06:31 AM

Not exactly fiddle tunes, but a couple previously discussed here were:

The Man Who Turns The Damn Thing Off And On

I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore

and there's:

Nobody Loves a Fairy When She's Forty.

There should be threads on these three(?).

In a different genre I think I recall a thread that ran for a very long time before we found:

Whose Izzy Is He (Is He Yours or Is He Mine?)

A "Session Book" circulated some years back by the "Irish Tent" at the annual Winfield Festival (and elsewhere) included:

Britches Full of Stitches
Fasten the Leg in Her (mentioned above?)
The Flogging Reel(?)
The Hag At The Churn
I Buried My Wife & Danced On Top Of Her
Munster Buttermilk has the alternate title Behind the Haystack which sounds mildly salacious?
The Nine Points of Roguery
The Price Of My Pig
The Scent of the Bog (The Smell of the Bog)
Saint Anne's Reel is well known but St. Ruth's Bush possibly not?
Toss The Feathers(?) (multiple versions)
The Wet Pussy (An Phis Fhliuch)

Some in this latter collection have alternate titles that might sound funnier if I was in "full Irish mode" but I wouldn't be able to tell if the silliness was me or the tune.

John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 06:49 AM

The Minister Kissed The Fiddler's Wife

[quoted by Burns]

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 06:51 AM

... and also

Merrily Kissed the Quaker's Wife...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 08:21 AM

Was the original request asking for the origins of the names as few mentioned so far have been explained?
The only strange one that I can explain is the "cat flap in the fridge" which was inspired by a Garfield cartoon.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 08:27 AM

Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 09:43 AM

Davy Come Back and Act Like You Ought To

Verb the Noun


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 09:58 AM

Granny Hold The Candle While I Shave The Chicken's Lip?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 10:22 AM

An Old tune ' The Difficult Fish '
If you fish for salmon you would understand this title.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: bubblyrat
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 02:31 PM

Black Joke

The Frosty Hare

The Cook In The Kitchen

The Larks March

Pepper In The Brandy

The Pigeon On The Gate

Rufty Tufty

The Pandon Dance

The Pandene Of Tikeli

Herbert The Sherbert


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 02:39 PM

But it just sounds funny Mark.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 03:37 PM

Old Woman Tossed up in a Blanket

The Gander in the Pratie Hole

I Ne'er Shall Wean Her


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 10:56 AM

The Floating Crowbar


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Jon Heslop
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 12:02 PM

Absent Minded Woman

Cup of Tea (Now that's weird! In a pub session!!???!)

Hand me Down The Tackle

Dog In Distress

Jenny's Beaver Hat

Give Us A Drink OF Water (see Cup of Tea above)

Fox on The Town

Rambling Pitchfork

Fanny Power (!!!???!)

The Kesh (Why would anybody name a tune after a brand new "Leisure Resort" holiday complex on the edge of Marrakesh?)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 12:09 PM

There's one in the Goodman collection called 'The Black Stripper'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 12:23 PM

Push that Pig a Little Closer to the fFire

Vanish Me Foreskin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: PHJim
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 02:01 AM

Blind Steer In A Mudhole
You Married My Daughter, Yet You Didn't
Walt's Waltz
Dan's Dance
Spilt Beer


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Subject: RE: Origins: Weird and Crazy Tune Names - Please!
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 05:37 AM

When faced with naming a tune, what are you going to do? Call it Smudgen McMudgeon's Fifth in C Minor, or follow Shakespeare and start calling it As You Like It - which was what he told his amenuensis when asked what he was going to call that play? He was lucky the other one of that ilk, Twelfth Night, wasn't called Watcher, Will.

When learning a tune, I think it's important to understand its cultural context so your choices are deliberate - a carry over of Early Music's increased appreciation of what they call Historically Informed Performance. Their music was the more formal style of where much folk music came from, and they're 20 years ahead of the folk world in bringing cultural affectations added by previous generations under control. In that world, it took people like Emma Kirkby and then Catherine Bott to get rid of the anachronous ubiquity of coloratura in baroque music imposed a hundred years ago, and that was forty years ago. It's worth asking what affectations the folk world retains? And so it is that we should know why Fanny Power is called that: it was dedicated to one of the Powers family, descendants of one of the Irish Kings. It's about the last gasp of the older heritage before the takeover of the AngloIrish in the 19th Century with all of the pain and grief that resulted: all of the condescension of the Somerville and Ross RM begorrahing has found a place in Irish music too, and perhaps that needs to be thought carefully about, to what extent the wilder names were pandering to an abusive audience. And for that you need to do some careful research, the kind of work ITMA is doing.

Some tunes are obvious, for example the Hen's March to the Midden. But to what extent are they also satirical takes on other more virtuous tunes such as Peacock's March, named for a long-forgotten worthy of that name? Sometimes even the performers lose track of how they got there, I recall commenting to Patsy Seddon and Mary McMaster in a workshop many moons ago that there was a painting of the young Kate Dalrymple in the National Portrait Gallery in London, showing a society beauty, whereas the traditional song portrays a hag second only to Alison Gross: there is scope in the tune to bring out the underlying minuet showing the young girl within the hag. Years later they came back to it and did so, but don't recall where the idea came from. Sic transit gloria mundi! I'm just happy to have added something to the McCalmans backstreet version, fun as it is.

So, if the name's funny, try finding out why and you may have insight into how to play it, rather than just hacking it out in a style derivative of whoever you learned it from. Sure, that can be an element of it, but it's also useful to know how it got there to seen where to take it. That way you can add to your experience the fun bits such as the diminished chord in Give Me Your Hand, to use elsewhere instead of the more conventional decorations. The more the number of decorations you have on hand, the more interesting your music, because you can take it places. It's exactly why the Welsh used the 24 variations on the Welsh Ground as the test for a properly-trained harper, to show that they had a decent repertoire of decorative techniques to take tunes somewhere else. Sadly in their instance it became an end in and of itself, which was never the idea: like other tunes of theirs, for instance the finger exercise intended simply as a physical warm-up, known as pwrt ar bys ("finger exercise" in Welsh), which became progressively port ar bwys and then Buttered Peas! And there, perhaps, is another crazy title - and how it came to be.


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