Reach village sign
Out of Reach
Folk Music from Cambridgeshire Pub Sessions

The Music

Our primary reason for recording Out of Reach was, of course, to raise money for Cancer Research UK. However, many of the tunes that we play may not be widely known amongst other session players, so we also hope that the CD will bring these great tunes to a wider audience.

The notes below, compiled by Mary and given in the order in which the tracks appear on the CD, will enable the curious to hunt down the original sources of the music and, perhaps, find more that they can enjoy.

You can listen to a sample of each track by clicking on the sound icon next to its title.


1. Recovery / Polka du Père Plumet sound
Recovery can be found in the John Clare MS No. 48. John Clare (1793-1864), born in Helpston, was brought up listening to traditional song and dance music. Now regarded primarily as a poet, he was an important song and tune collector. Polka du Père Plumet was published in Mel Stevens' "Massif Central Tunebook", Vol. 2, No. 106 and popularised by Blowzabella.

2. South Downs / Linnen Hall sound
Brought to our session by Chris Hawes and played by Danny until we all knew and loved it, South Downs is a Morris-type tune composed by Jim Harding in 1984. After a bit of sleuthing online, I can now reveal that Linnen Hall was published by James Aird c. 1750-1795 in "A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs" in 1782. It can be found as No. 327 of Book 2.

3. Bang Up Hornpipe / Sweep's Hornpipe sound
The Bang Up Hornpipe can be found in "Hampshire Dance Tunes: Country Dance Tunes from the Pyle Family Manuscript, 1822", ed. Bob Shatwell and Paul Sartin, ISBN 0-9554082-0-2. We first heard it on the CD "Hampshire Dance Tunes" (Wildgoose Records WGS325CD). Sweep's Hornpipe is from a MS dated 1837 by John Moore of Wellington, Shropshire. The original can be seen in the "Gallery of Historic Dance & Tune Books" on the EFDSS library web site, Book 2, page 59.

4. We are Forced to be Contented sound
This song concerns the Reform Act of 1832. The tune was written by Ron Flanagan of the Horden Rakes. The text is from a broadside published by Catnach between 1813-1838, and can be found in the Harding collection held in the Bodleian library.

5. French Quadrille / Laura & Lensa sound
Both from William Clarke of Feltwell, Norfolk, in a MS dated 1858 owned by Peter & Lyn Law of Chester. The French Quadrille (No. 62) was written in the key of C. Laura & Lensa, No. 25, was written in D. The manuscript is available in ABC and PDF formats on Mary's website.

6. The Burdett / Sadlor's Baloon (sic) sound
Found in the John Clare collection: No. 44 and No. 96. Clare's spelling was approximate at best! The Burdetts were baronets who played a prominent role in politics in the 17th. and 18th. centuries. James Sadler (1753-1828) was the first English balloonist. Sadler made two ascents in May 1785 from a field behind a gentleman's garden on the site of what is now Balloon Street in Manchester. On the first flight he was accompanied by a cat.

7. Serpentiner Och Konfetti / Watsons's Hornpipe sound
The Rejländer Serpentiner och Konfetti was composed by the Swedish musician Mats Edèn for Ebba, the daughter of Sven Ljungberg, but was adopted (with Mats' permission) by Hammersmith Morris and then copied by other Morris teams. Watson's Hornpipe is found (untitled) in a manuscript of about 1880 by George H. Watson of Swanton Abbott, Norfolk.
8. Meillionen sound
"Clover" in English. Found in many early English, Scottish and Welsh collections of dance music. It has a good claim to a Welsh origin. Probably the first printing of the tune is in "Aria di Camera" (c. 1727), and later in Walsh's "Third Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master" (London, 1735). In Walsh's "Caledonian Country Dances", Book 3 (London, c. 1750) it is described as a 'Scotch Country Dance'!

9. Ashley's Hornpipe / The Savage Hornpipe sound
John Clare No. 35 followed by John Clare No. 110. The Savage Hornpipe was originally in B♭, which we are assured by David is a fiddle-friendly key. Not so for the D/G melodeon: we therefore transcribed it into G.

10. Russian March / Sustead Schottische sound
The first tune is from William Clarke of Feltwell, No. 225, original key C. George Kraske, a melodeon player from Sustead can be heard playing his schottische on Veteran Tapes VTVS05/06, "Pigeon on the Gate". The tune and biographical details can be found in The East Anglian Music Trust's "Before the night was out...", ISBN 0-9545943-1-2.

11. Jack Robinson / Mount Hills sound
The melody of Jack Robinson was in the repertoire of William Tilbury (Pitch Place, Surrey), who used to play the fiddle at village dances. Tilbury learned his repertoire from an uncle, Fiddler Hammond, who died around 1870 and who had been the village fiddler before him. Mount Hills is a country dance tune from Playford's 1701 edition (the 11th.) of "The English Dancing Master".

12. Penny for the Ploughboys sound
Composed by Colin Cater in about 1999, it celebrates Molly Dancing and the changing of the seasons, as well as the resilience of English traditions which adapt to changes in technology and the harsh, sometimes uncaring, attitudes of officialdom. See Colin's book "A Penny for the Ploughboys" (Hedingham Fair, ISBN 978-0-9556475-1-2).

13. Juliana sound
Danny heard this tune played by Neil Brookes and Tony Wetherall on their CD "Whitchurch Hornpipe" (Wildgoose Records WGS350CD) and brought it to the session. This version came from the John Clews MS (1823) of Stoke upon Tern, N. Shropshire. It is transcribed by Neil on the Village Music Project website.

14. A Trip to Brighton / The Charming Maid sound
Found in David Rutherford's "Compleat Collection of 200 Country Dances", Vol. 2 (London, c. 1760) as Trip to Brighthelmstone - the original name for Brighton, Sussex. The Charming Maid tune, along with the dancing instructions, was printed by John Young in his Part II of the "Dancing Master" series, Vol. 3, 1718.