Phase One of the Hex Project finished

December 22, 2014

I started today with five songs left to go, and one other one that I wanted to replace. Six songs later and I am finished with phase one of the project. Thirty six songs written, sets of six songs (one in each of the first six modes) starting from each of the notes C, D, E, F, G, and A, and each set of six songs containing one song on each of the six themes. (The way the themes cycle through the modes across the six sets is regular too for what it is worth.)

But all this structural nonsense would be meaningless if the songs were no good. It's not really for me to judge, I guess, and of course some songs are stronger than others, but there are arount ten in there that I am really, really pleased with (including two that I wrote today), and only one that I wonder about replacing (Chain of Gold, fyi).

 

So here is the list (as of today) of all 36 songs, in their sets of six, by starting note.

 

C1. At Seventeen Years of Age I Was Young (love)

C2. Jug of This (drinking)

C3. Banks of the Nile (soldiers and sailors)

C4. When Morning Stands on Tiptoe (nature)

C5. Admiral's Return (death)

C6. What's a Labourer's Lot in this Country of Freedom (work)

 

D1. Jolly Shilling (drinking)

D2. When We Are Homeward Bound (soldiers and sailors)

D3. The Ripe and Bearded Barley (nature)

D4. Chain of Gold (death)

D5. Wiltshire Labourers (work)

D6. The Alderman and his Servant (love)

 

E1. Isle of Beauty Fare Thee Well (soldiers and sailors)

E2. Springtime of the Year (nature)

E3. False Hearted William (death)

E4. Eynsham Poaching Song (work)

E5. Farewell Mary Ann (love)

E6. A Drunkard's Farewell to his Folly (drinking)

 

F1. On Compton Down (nature)

F2. Death and the Maid (death)

F3. Deny No Man His Right (work)

F4. I'll Weave Him a Garland (love)

F5. Music and Wine (drinking)

F6. British Man O'War (soldiers and sailors)

 

G1. By Thy Sweet Silver Light Bonny Moon (death)

G2. Irish Labourers (work)

G3. I am a Pretty Wench (love)

G4. Joke and Push About the Pitcher (drinking)

G5. The Bold Recruit (soldiers and sailors)

G6. Cuckoo (nature)

 

A1. Hard Times Come Again No More (work)

A2. Amongst the New Mown Hay (love)

A3. Good Brown Ale and Tobacco (drinking)

A4. The Deserter (soldiers and sailors)

A5. Ram (nature)

A6. Down in the Lowlands Low (death)

 

My job now, apart from not forgetting any of the tunes and learning the words, is to find some people to play them with. I envisage double bass, percussion, fiddle, banjo, accordian, and guitar, and there has to be at least one female voice and one male voice. I have arrangements reasonably clearly in mind for some of the above songs, others are little more than melodies and chords. Exciting. I suppose phase three will be playing the whole set of thirty six songs in six venues across Wiltshire, Oxfordshore, and Gloucestershire (the three counties that Alfred Williams collected songs from).

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