Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Two new tunes for Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music -- "River" and "Sumer Is Icumen In" (summer is a-coming in)

Blast email I sent out today to the Clayville list, edited to embed clips and fix minor illiteracies. -- pe
Hi everybody --

We're adding a couple of songs to our playlist when the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music meets from 10 a.m. till noon this Saturday at Clayville Historic Site, Ill. 125, Pleasant Plains. Last night in Springfield, we played "River," a song by singer-songwriter Bill Staines, and "Sumer Is Icumen In" (summer is a-coming in) for the first time. And everyone enjoyed them so much we decided we want to keep working on them both in Springfield and Clayville.

In addition, "Soldier's Joy" is back by popular demand. We've already had a request for it, and last night we followed up on that request and learned it easily. So we decided it's a keeper, too.

I've attached dulcimer tab for "River" and "Sumer Is Icumen In" to this message, and links to dulcimer tab and lead sheets with the melody line and guitar chords for "Solider's Joy" below.

In addition, I'm linking to YouTube videos of "River" and "Sumer Is Icumen In" so you can *hear* the tunes. I'll post them to Hogfiddle, too.


An old clip of Staines performing the song with singer-songwriter couple Aileen and Elkin Thomas at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 1979


It's an a cappella round that topped the charts in England about 1260 AD. Here it is as revived more recently by members of the English post-punk rock band the Futureheads:

And as performed by English singer-songwriter Richard Thompson backed by Debra Dobkin on drum and Judith Owen harmony vocal. When Playboy magazine asked Thompson to list the best popular songs of the last 1,000 years for a Y2K feature, he suggested this one. He never heard from Playboy again, but it gave him the idea for a successful night club act. Their grand entrance to the club starts at 1:33:

And -- my favorite -- a group of English folk singers and fiddle players (I think I also hear banjos playing the rhythm part) at Cecil Sharp House, headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London. I especially like this one because you can tell how much fun they're having with it:

There's more information about the song, and several more traditional YouTube clips performed by a cappella choirs and early music consorts, on Hogfiddle at:


Dulcimer tab and a lead sheet with guitar chords are available in a directory on the Music Roots website out of Mountain View, Ark., at:

I'll also copy this message to the blog.

Hope to see you at Clayville Saturday morning!

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