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Nick Barber's English Choice Book - Nick Barber

What are the one hundred best session tunes? Ask a group of traditional musicians that question and you will provoke a great deal of thought, and, of course, end up with a completely different answer from each one.


There is such an amazing wealth and variety of tunes out there, constantly shifting as they pass from person to person, medium to medium; song tunes, dance tunes, marches, polkas, waltzes, love songs, ancient tunes, dirges, made up tunes, sad tunes...


Nick Barber has been part of traditional English music sessions up and down the country for many years. Recently he has been spotted playing melodeon, horn and recorder a bit less and asking about tunes a bit more. His copious scribbled notes have resulted in this tune book.


The tunes are accurately transcribed, referring to original sources wherever possible. Also included is information about each tune, with Nick’s choice of chords suitable for squeezebox and guitar players alike.


If you’d like to join in with the delights of sharing tunes with others in an English session, this book is a good reference point. Every tune is a gem, tried and tested not just by Nick on melodeon and his wife Mary on fiddle, but by generations of players who, over the years, have made the tunes what they are.


All the tunes in this book can be heard on two optional CDs, Bonny Kate (DMPCD0203) and Lovely Nancy (DMPCD0204).




Alexandra Park

All in a Garden Green

Anything for John Joe

Aye Me

Battle of Prague

Bear Dance

Beatrice Hill’s Three-Handed Reel

Bill Hall’s No. 1

Bill Hall’s No. 2

Black Nag

Bonny Kate

Captain Lanoe’s Quick March

Centenary March

Dark Girl Dressed in Blue

Doctor Fausters’ Tumblers

Dusty Miller, The


Fair Jenny

Foul Weather Call

Four Seasons

From Night Till Morn

Ganglat fran Appelbo


Gloucestershire Hornpipe

Grandfather’s Tune

Green Mountain Petronella

Gypsies’ Hornpipe

Harper’s Frolick

Herbert the Sherbert

Horses Brawl

Hunt the Squirrel

Iron Legs


Jeannet and Jeannot

Just as the Tide Was Flowing

Kerry Mills Barn Dance


King’s Polka

Last of June

Le Canal en Octobre

Lemmie Brazil’s No. 2

Lodge Roa

London Schottische

Long Odds

Lovely Nancy

Mad Moll of the Cheshire Hunts

March des Cabrettaires

Michael Turner’s Jig

Michael Turner’s Waltz

Midnight on the Water

Miss Richards’ Hornpipe



Old Lancashire Reel

Once I Loved a Maiden Fair

One More Dance and Then

Oscar Woods' Jig

Oscar Woods’ Polka

Pepper in the Brandy

Plane Tree, The


Prince William

Quarter Brawl


Redowa Polka

Rochdale Coconut Dance

Rogues’ March

Rufty Tufty

Scan Tester’s Polka No. 1

Scan Tester’s Polka No. 2

Schottis fran Idre

Serpentiner och Konfetti

Seven Stars

Sir Sidney Smith’s March

Sloe, The

Sonny Brogan’s Mazurka

Spaniard, The

Spirit of the Dance

Sportsman’s Hornpipe

Staffordshire Hornpipe

Steamboat Hornpipe

Sun Assembly

Swiss Boy

Centenary March

Three Around Three

Three Rusty Swords

Tip Top Polka


Wals voor Polle

Walter Bulwer’s Polka No. 1

Walter Bulwer’s Polka No. 2

Waterloo Dance

Weavers’ March

When Daylight Shines

Will You Patch My Pants for Me?

Worcestershire Hornpipe

Young May Moon

Nick Barber's English Choice Book - Nick Barber

SKU: AP107