Discussions => Tunes => Topic started by: mikesamwild on October 20, 2008, 07:55:34 PM

Title: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: mikesamwild on October 20, 2008, 07:55:34 PM
I am currently besotted with this tune by The Boat Band. It comes, according to Barry Callaghan's book 'Hardcore English', from J.Walsh's collection of 1718, where it was in 6/8 with no name given, so it's not necessarily from The Lakes .

This was before waltzes, as dances,  were invented . 3/4 was, however, played before the dance was introduced in the 1800s
I've played it as a jig and a hornpipe, and it's nice, but not as moving as the waltz.

It's got echoes of Tennesee Waltz and Orkney Rope Waltz

Any more info on the tune?
Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: greg stephens on October 21, 2008, 10:39:12 AM
Well, I can give you chapter and verse for the recent playing history of this tune. I found it in Walsh's Compleat Dancing Master of 1718, back in the 70's when I started researching north west English music seriously. Barry Callaghan was wrong when he described it as unititled, in his Hardcore English  book of tunes: in fact it is titled Westmoreland. I suspect he misunderstood his own notes when he was doing his final write-up (or maybe he never looked in the Walsh book?). I think he was probably trying to say that it wasn't called the Westmoreland Waltz in 1718, the Boat Band must have renamed it. Well, it certainly wasn't called a waltz back in 1718, the name wasn't in use then. Or not in England, at any rate.
    So, I found that tune and put it in my trusty notebook as I was trawling the printed and MS collections for tunes with NW English names. And when I played it, I thought that it was too beautiful to waste as a jig, so I slowed it down and played it as an air, and it started getting played round the sessions in Lancaster. Then I was involved with the theatre company Welfare State International, based in Ulverston, and we toured a rather bizarre kind of theatrical barn dance round village halls, in the Lake District initially and then further afield. The audience danced (the caller was the legendary Taffy Thomas), and watched various strange theatrical interludes between the dances. I wanted a really lovely tune to play for the last waltz when we dancing round in the dark saying goodbye to the audience, so I picked Westmoreland as the ideal tune for this, played quite slow as we played it in the pubs. And after that, I stopped calling it Westmoreland and started calling it the Westmoreland Waltz.Many years later we recorded it on the Boat Band CD "A Trip to the Lakes".
Soi there you go: maybe too much information? Well, you did ask!This is my first visit to this Magical World of Melodeons, my attention was drawn, as they say, to this query so I thought I'd pop in and tell all.
Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: Lin Leighton on October 21, 2008, 03:22:59 PM
Hi Greg

Welcome to the wonderful world of and I hope you have a long and happy association   :)

Small world though, its not too far from mudcat is it???

Best wishes
Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: Rees on October 21, 2008, 07:37:11 PM
Yo Greg. Respeck an' all. welcome to the mad-house.

Tony W told me he wrote that tune.  ::)
Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: waltzman on October 22, 2008, 12:25:06 AM
Where can I find the dots for this tune?
Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: waltzman on October 22, 2008, 12:27:26 AM
Nevermind I just found at the session tunes
Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: mikesamwild on October 22, 2008, 06:04:48 PM
Thanks Greg, and welcome to the site.
And thanks for the info.

Your record ' Crookfinger Jack' was, for me,  a very important and influential record in the history of regional music. It was like a blast that went straight home.

It's nice to see you in contact with current musicians.

What got you going on the NW English tunes?

Best wishes,

Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz / Crookfinger Jack
Post by: pbsalt on October 25, 2008, 12:32:57 PM
Hi Greg,
   I'd like to echo the  appreciation of  Crookfinger Jack's  Beggar Boy of the North  - although I only got the recent CD reissue - wish I'd known about it earlier !   However  have been playing The Northern Lass for 20+ years thanks to John Offord's 'John of the Greeny Way & Brian Peters recording of it.  

At a session in Lancashire only 1 couple ever joined in with the Northern Lass - afer they'd moved away I learnt that Pete Mickelborough was in Crookfinger Jack !

Title: Re: Westmoreland Waltz
Post by: Hugh Taylor on February 06, 2009, 05:37:40 PM
It appears in Playfords collection as Westmorland in 6/4 time.
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