Andrew Wigglesworth


This is a listing of tunes that I remember that I know.

It doesn’t include all those session tunes that I only remember when someone else starts them, or all those tunes that I’ve forgotten I know. I’ve also decided to severely curtail the “other” section as it would include just about every song tune I’ve ever heard :-D

This sort of list could be made by most folk or traditional musicians.

It’s a structured listing, but that is an evolving process, as is putting in notes and posting recordings of each tune or least links to other people playing them.

This is mostly a resource to help me and band/session members I play with, but others may eventually find it useful or interesting. We should always try to share these folk dance tunes.

To those interested, the list is kept in Emacs org-mode (like the rest of this website) and which is published using org publish.

Table of Contents

Complex time (jigs, slides, slip-jigs, lancashire hornpipes, marches)

Alexandrine March

I picked up “Marche Alexandrine” from an Old Hat Band recording many years ago. It is from Quebec.

I was only able to find it online recently. It’s also not in any of my music books.



Behind the haystack

One of the first Irish session tune that I learnt when it was played regularly in sessions at The Foresters and Broomfield Tavern in Coventry in the 1990’s.


Bill Hartes Favourite

Learnt many years ago (1990s). A 48 bar Irish jig.

Black joke, The

A Morris dance tune, also known as the Sprig of Shileleigh in Ireland.

Blarney pilgrim

Another Irish tune learnt at Coventry sessions.


The tune is a traditional Dutch dance tune. I play it pretty much the way of the original, except for the number of times through each part of the tune. I play it as a 48 bar (AABBCC) tune rather than the ABBC of the original.

Bonnets so blue

A tune I learnt early on. It exists in the English, Scottish (where this tune name comes from) and Irish traditions.

Camels are coming, The

Written by Ian Wilson of the bands “Peeping Tom” and “Be’lzebub”.

Captain Lanoe’s quickmarch

Cock ‘o the north

Northern English/Scottish.

Connaught man’s rambles

Another Irish tune I learnt in Coventry sessions.

Constant Billy

Dennis Murphy’s slide

Donnybrook fair

32 bar jig learnt whilst playing sessions with Terry Fairless.

Drops of Brandy

Yorkshire Lasses

AKA: Father O’Flynn

Family jig, The

AKA Major Mackie’s Jig

Learnt from the playing of Bob Cann (from the west country, who called it “The family Jig) and Jimmy Shand. It is originally a Scottish tune (ie. Major Mackie’s).

Foxhwunters (jig)

Gleanntan Frolics

Go to the devil and shake yourself

Hullichan jig


Hunt the squirrel

Learnt early on from somewhere or other. Most likely sessions or dance bands. A good tune for the dance “Good man of Ballangeigh”


Kempshott hunt

A tune from the John Clare manuscripts (it’s not clear whether he composed it) that has been popularised more recently by fiddle players Mat Green and Pete Cooper (see video below).


Kesh jig


Lark in the morning, The

Lemonville, The

I first heard The Lemonvile from the playing of “The Shepherds” (Willie Taylor, Willie Atkinson, Joe Hutton).

Little burnt potato, The

I first heard Little Burnt Potato from the playing of “The Shepherds” (Willie Taylor, Willie Atkinson, Joe Hutton).

It is a Canadian tune.


Merrily kiss the Quaker

Month of May

Moon and seven stars

I learnt this tune for playing with Greenman Rising. I can’t remember who suggested the tune.

Morgan rattler

I picked this tune up from festival sessions in the early 2000s, and subsequently heard it played by a couple of dance bands.

Morrison’s Jig

Munster buttermilk

Irish double jig.

I learnt this early on in Coventry sessions and I play this with a local variation. Instead of going up to the higher octave in the B music, it stays in the lower octave.

News of the Victory

I picked up News of the Victory probably after hearing it played at dances. It’s one of those tunes that simply appeared whilst practising without me being conscious of actually learning it.

Oats, beans and peas

Off she goes

A classic single jig that crops up all over the place. The A part is essentially the well known tune for singing the rhyme “Humpty Dumpty”, and for that reason it’s a good tune for demonstrating the rhythm of English single jigs.

Old favourite, The

Out on the ocean


Oyster Girl

Another ubiquitous English jig, learnt from somewhere or other.


Paddy Carey’s

“A good one”, James Winder wrote in his music notebook (1834-41). And he was right, it’s a cracking dance tune.

The name of this tune might make it seem to be Irish, but it has a quite English feel, if that means anything, and I have only heard it as a dance tune with English players. It also appears in the notebooks of many 19th century English traditional musicians.

From the Village music project: Thomas Sands of Lincolnshire (1810) William Clarke of Feltwell (1858) HSJ Jackson of Wyresdale, Lancashire (1823) James Winder, Lancashire (1835-41) John Clare, the poet from Helpston, Northamptonshire. Rev R Harrison, Cunbria. without C part (1815). William Tildesley, Swinton, Lancashire (1860s).

Does this mean it is originally English? Who knows, but what we do know is that it has been in the repertoire of English dance musicians and looked after by them for a long time.

The A and B parts are used in the song “Saxon Shilling”

Padraig O’Keefe’s slide

Patsy Geary’s

Quarryman, The

Rakes of Kildare

Rogues march

Skattery island

Smash the windows

AKA Roaring Jelly.

Spirit of the dance

A very nice English jig. Apparently it is included in the Thomas Hardy manuscripts.


X: 1
T: Spirit Of The Dance
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G2D E2D|G2D E2D|GAB cde|dBA G3:|
|:DFA c3|B3 A3|ABc d2e|c2d B3|
GAB c3|B3 A3|cde dBG|B2A G3:|

X: 2
T: Spirit Of The Dance
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj


Star above the garter, The

Swaggering Boney

Swallow’s nest, The

Sweets of May

Tenpenny bit

Tiger Smith’s jig

AKA Oscar Wood’s jig

Learnt from a recording of old English (East Anglian) melodeon players where Tiger Smith played it. A good English jig for dancing.


Tripping upstairs

Uncle’s jig

From the playing of Bob Cann. A Scottish tune originally I think.

Valiant, The

When daylight shines

Willie Atkinson’s favourite

Common time (reels, polkas, rants)

3 Kerry polkas / Black Horse Polkas

Three polkas that I learned early on whilst learning to play the melodeon. They were popular in Coventry sessions at that time and were often known as “The Black Horse Polkas” after a session in the Black Horse pub.

One year in the late nineties I was at the Whitby Folk Week Festival, playing in the Elsinor, and someone led this set, and afterwards I eagerly asked him what the names of the tunes were. “Oh, I’m not sure”, he said, “I only know them as ‘The Black Horse Polkas’.”

A curenta

This is something that I remembered from a tape I was once given of a street performance of Italian music. The tape is long gone.

It gets played with Greenman Rising.

Albert Farmer’s fireside polka

As the tide was flowing

From the song of the same name. It was a vaguely familiar tune, until Jack Shuttleworth started playing it at sessions.

Babes in the wood

Battle of Aughrim

Bear dance


Billy Harrison’s Father’s Polka

Blue eyed stranger

Bobby shaftoe (Sleights sword dance)

Bonny breast knots

Bonny Kate

Bottom of the punchbowl

Bricks and mortar

I think I learn this from John and Beryl Marriot’s book “Tunes for the band” in the late 1980s.

Brighton Camp

AKA “The girl I left behind me”. This is one of the most widely dispersed and well known of any English folk tunes. I really don’t know where I learnt this from, I always seem to have known Brighton Camp.

Brittania Nutters

Chain cotillon

Cochon Chine

Learnt whilst playing and dancing for a local border morris team in the 1990’s.


Cooley’s Reel


Cornish circle dance

This was one of the first (second or third) tunes that I learn on the melodeon. It was on a tape made by a dance band; I forget who they were.

Curley headed ploughboy

Dark girl dressed in blue

Davy davy knick knack

Donkey riding

The tune of the song. I learnt the song at junior school, and learnt the tune on melodeon for a ceilidh band in the mid 1990s.

Dorset four hand reel

A classic and very well known tune in the modern English tradition. It goes with a dance, also called Dorset four hand reel. The word “reel” may be confusing here since it is nothing like an Irish or Scottish reel, but is named after a movement in the dance (a hey, or reel). The tune is more of a southern English relation to the northern English rant.

Double lead through

Down the road

Duke of Perth

Durham rangers

ECMW reel


AKA “Jacob.” A tune from listening to and dancing to various dance bands. Said to be a favourite tune of Thomas Hardy’s; it’s in his notebooks.

Eunyssagh Vona

A tune from the Isle of Man

Far from home

Another tune picked up whilst playing sessions in Coventry. This one is Scottish.

Fairy Dance

Fireside Polka

Foul weather call

My playing of this tune has developed over a number the years. I first heard it played by “Flowers and Frolics” who, in their own words, forced it into a kind of hornpipe. The tune is a sort of hornpipe/scottishe/polka/summat or other. It’s peculiar tune that goes back at least to the first half of the 19th century. Saying it’s “peculiar” doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile; “Foul weather call” is a first class tune.

From night till morn


Learnt whilst dancing the dance of the same name.

Gaspe Reel, The


Ger the rigger

Picked up in Coventry sessions. A Shetland tune.

Grandpa’s polka

Harper’s Frolic

Hesleyside reel

I have a bonnet trimmed in blue

I looked east and I looked west

In and out the windows

Jenny Lind

Johnny get yer hair cut

An English 48 bar Polka (I think, though it does sound a bit American to my ear), learnt playing sessions in Coventry.

Jolly sheepskins


Keel row


La Bastrinque

La ganivelle

La Russe

Tune for the dance of the name.


Lads a bunchum

Lasses pisses brandy

Lichfield Tatoo

LNB Polka (La Roulante)

The original (“real”) name of this tune is La Roulante. It is a French tune that was made popular by the legendary dance band “The Late Night Band.” I picked it up from a mixture of hearing them play it and hearing it in sessions.

Mad moll of the Cheshire hunts

Learnt for a local border Morris team in the mid 1990s. “Gas Mark 5” played this on their eponymous “red album.”

Marmalade Polka

Mickey chewing bubblegum

Miss McLeod’s

Mount Hills

Not the Wiltshire six hand reel

Not the Wiltshire six hand reel … because it isn’t. I’ll track down the proper name of this tune one day.

Anyone who hears me playing and knows the proper name, feel free to tell me :-)

Oh Joe the boat is going over

Old Molly Oxford

Old Tom of Oxford

Over the hills

Pigeon on the gate

More of an idea than a tune it is said. The pigeon on the gate seems to have had as many versions as players.

My version is based on the one played by Scan Tester and is often known as “Scan Tester’s country step dance”.


Piper in the meadow


Princess Royal

A morris tune.


Prince William

Quaker, The

Rattlin’ bog

Redowa Polka??

Redwing (Union maid)

Rochdale coconut dance

Salmon tails

Scan Tester’s No.1 polka


Scan Tester’s No.1 step dance

Scan Tester’s No.2 polka


Serpentina och konfetti

Shepherd’s Hey, Fieldtown

Often referred to as “Signposts” from a move in the Fieldtown morris dance.


Shepherds’s hey

Shreds and patches

Silver Spear, The


Silverton Polka


Speed the plough

The English national anthem. Well … it should be! :-D

Buffoon, The

Fairy dance, The

Sloe, The

Tanner man, The

Teetotaller, The

Tipsy parson, The

Triumph, The

Three round three (Pleasures of the town)

Tin gee gee

Tip Top polka

Toss the feathers


Tralee Gaol


Turkey in the straw

Walter Bulwer’s No. 1

White Cockade

Whitehaven volunteers

Wiltshire six hand reel

Winster gallop

Woodland revels

Young Collins

Hornpipes & Schottishes

Alexander’s Hornpipe

Boys of school hill

Canal en Octobre

A schottische composed by Fredric Paris.

Click go the shears

Cliff Hornpipe, The

Fanny Frail

Garland dance, The

Grandfather’s Polka

If you play Grandfather’s Polka, followed by Fanny Frail and the Cliff Hornpipe, then think about their relationship with Harvest home … you’ll start to get some idea of how the folk process changes and adapts tunes, and spreads them around Britain and Ireland in different related forms.

Not to forget the to and fro from North America (listen to the Cincinnati Hornpipe), Australia and New Zealand and with some tunes many other parts of the world.

Harliquin Air, The

Hunting the hare

Jackie Robinson

Lemmie Brazil’s No. 1

Lemmie Brazil’s No. 2


Madame Bonaparte

Malt Shovel Hornpipe, The

Off to California

Portobello hornpipe

Learnt from a piano accordion player at the CovTrad session.


Redesdale Hornpipe

Written by James Hill Attributed to James Hill. Redesdale is a valley in Northumberland and an important (going back into antiquity) historical route between England and Scotland. It’s been speculated that this could have been the route by which James Hill travelled from Scotland to live in Northumberland.


These players play the tune differently to me, but much of what they do often appears as “variations” in my playing.

Roxborough Castle

Shepton Mallett Hornpipe

Sportsman’s Hornpipe, The

Steamboat Hornpipe, The

Swiss boy, The

Three sea captains

Tom Fowler’s hornpipe


William Taylor’s tabletop hornpipe


Centenary march, The

Dr Fauster’s Tumblers

Eynesham march

Grand Turks March, The

Jimmy Garson’s march

La Morisque

Marching through Georgia

From the famous song. But, as a dance tune, is this a march or an American style square dance tune? Either I think, but I actually play is as a square dance type tune.

Moncks march

Sir Sydney Smith’s march


Elizabeth Claire

Kinnersley house

Lovely Nancy

Man in the moon, The

Peeping pup waltz

Percy Brown’s waltz for the Veleta

South wind, The

Ville de Quebec


Casadh an tSúgáin

A classic Irish sean nos (old style) song, which translates as “The Twisting of the Hay Rope.” The song is about a young man who comes to a cottage, courting. The mother gets rid of him by getting him to help with the making of a hay rope. When the length of the rope means he’s outside the door, she slams the door shut, leaving him outside.

The song is from the mans point of view, lamenting his fortune. In fact he seems pretty sour about it and it’s not really clear that the young woman had actually shown any interest in him at all.

The Grenadier’s Return

Slow march. Sometimes called “The Grenadier’s slow march”, though it is not the slow march of the Grenadier Guards (that is Scipio). Played at Trooping the Colour.


Lord Inchiquin

Derwentwater’s farewell

Planxty Fanny Powers

Roisin Dubh