NEW from Bampton Folk Club – Tunes Tuesdays!

Bampton Folk Club has introduced a new twice-monthly session for players and learners of tunes. Based roughly around the SlowPlayer concept of collaborative and “no player left behind” learning, we learn a new tune, and in the session, play it slowly to get every one playing together and setting that all important muscle memory, then steadily build tempo and have lots of fun. It’s the best way to learn by far! Once we’re all playing the new tune we’ll reprise earlier tunes, hear new tunes which could be included in the repertoire and play for the practise and joy of it.

The session is open to all who wish to learn or play on whatever instrument you have. Ideally players should know their instrument well enough to find all the notes with a degree of accuracy and have the desire to learn from the whole breadth of dance tunes, airs and song melodies from around the globe. Experienced players looking for inspiration for new tunes or who fancy teaching a tune or two or just want an evening of playing are more than welcome!

We’ve tested the concept over the past few months to make sure that we can ensure that players come away having learned new material and learn the skills of playing in session and most importantly have fun. We can confirm that the concept works for all three aspects.

Accompanists are, of course, welcome but should be mindful that the session is primarily focussed on building confidence and expanding repertoire of the melody players.

Sessions are twice-monthly on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month starting this Tuesday, 28th September in The Barn, aka the Function Room behind the Morris Clown pub in Bampton.

Further details including previous tunes and sheet music can be found here:

For anyone thinking of coming to the session on the 28th, we’ll concentrate on Parson’s Farewell, Goddesses and Knees Up In Hanoi. If you have the time, it’s worth at least familiarising yourself with the tunes. Of course, having a look at all of them would be great!

Wild Mountain Thyme

A variant by Francis McPeake of the the song “The Braes of Balquhither” by Robert Tannahill, a contemporary of Robert Burns.  The Braes of Balquhither” in turn is likely to have been based on the traditional song “The Braes o’ Bowhether”.

Wild Mountain Thyme is also often known as “Purple Heather” and “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?”.

We play a version very similar to The Corries version linked here.

Gypsy Rover

Also known by other names, “The Whistling Gypsy”, “Whistling Gypsy Rover” and tells a similar tale to many other songs telling the tale of a well-off lady’s encounter with Gypsies.

Sloop John B

A Bahamian Folk song from Nassau, made famous by The Beach Boys.

Orange in Bloom

Or “Sherborne Waltz”, from just over the border in Gloucestershire…

Dark Girl Dressed in Blue

A traditional Irish polka telling the story of a fellow tricked into laundering money on her behalf.

Drowsy Maggie

Fast paced reel, should really be a drinking tune…


Traditional English folk dance tune, a bit like a hornpipe. So much so that it is sometimes called “Portsmouth Hornpipe”