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Common tunes

At past Fiddle Hell Festivals, we've played common tunes together at various sessions, many from a list of 52 tunes we assembled a number of years ago.  Knowing some of these tunes can be very helpful in jam sessions, since it gives you some common ground with other fiddlers, across a variety of styles.  A 2-CD set is available for the original common tune list.

We put together a new common tune list 3 years ago, again across multiple styles, based directly on your suggestions over 4 years of the Fiddle Hell online survey. There were more than 600 great suggestions on the survey (thank you all!), and narrowing them down to just 52 was a challenging and interesting process.

We think you'll really enjoy the tunes on the new list! Just as on the original list, you probably play some of them already, and you may see a few that you personally suggested. Some of these tunes will be featured at Fiddle Hell 2019 at workshops, jams, and flash mobs. The Reiner Family Band has recorded the new common tunes (played both fast and slow) on a new 2-CD set, available now in our Store!

If your favorite tune didn't make it onto this list, you can still play it at Fiddle Hell.  And of course, you can keep playing the original 52 tunes!

New Common Tune List

Color code: Reels, Breakdowns, Polkas, Two-Steps, Rags & Rants, Jigs & MarchesWaltzes & Airs, Strathspeys

Äppelbo Gånglåt
 - Swedish walking tune in G, 2/4 time
Beaumont Rag - Texas and bluegrass rag in F, 2/4
La Belle Catherine - French Canadian reel in C, 2/4
La Belle Catherine - French Canadian reel in D (different from the one in C), 2/4

Big Sciota - Oldtime and bluegrass breakdown in G, 2/4
Blackberry Blossom - Bluegrass & oldtime Southern reel in G, 2/4
Boatsman - Oldtime Southern reel in A, 2/4
Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine - Oldtime march in D, 4/4
Brenda Stubbert’s - Cape Breton reel in A Dorian, 2/4, ©1980 Jerry Holland (SOCAN)
Calliope House - Scottish jig in E. 6/8, ©1984 Dave Richardson (MCPS)
Cellosaurus Stomp - Song and dance in D Dorian, 2/4, ©2015 Andy Reiner  Sheet music here
Chez Seychelles - Cajun waltz in D, 3/4
Chinquapin Hunting - Oldtime Southern reel in A, 2/4
The Cliffs of Moher - Irish jig in Am, 6/8
Cock of the North - Scottish pipe march or jig in A, 6/8, aka Auntie Mary
Crested Hens - Les Poules Huppées, French bourée in Em, 3/4 ©1983 Gilles Chabenat (Global Graffiti Pub)
Crooked Stovepipe - New England reel in G, 2/4
Cutting Ferns - Scottish strathspey in A Dorian, 2/4, aka Cutting Bracken, Tha Mi Sgìth
Devil’s Dream - New England - orig. Scottish, Irish, Canadian reel in A, 2/4
Egan’s Polka - Irish polka in D, 2/4, aka Kerry Polka and Peg Ryan’s)
Father Kelly’s - Irish reel in G, 2/4
Fisher’s Hornpipe - New England - orig. English hornpipe or reel in D, 2/4
Reel de Gaspé - French Canadian reel in D, 2/4
Inisheer - Irish air in G, 3/4, ©Thomas Walsh (Crashed Music Group)
Jamie Allen - English rant in G, 2/4
Jefferson and Liberty - New England jig in Am, 6/8
Jolie Blonde - Cajun waltz in A, 3/4, P. D.
Josefin’s Dopvals - Swedish "Christening" waltz in G, 3/4 ©1993 Roger Tallroth (NCB Scandinavia)
June Apple - Oldtime Southern reel in A Mixolydian, 2/4
Kitchen Girl - Oldtime Southern reel in A Mixolydian and A Dorian, 2/4

Magic Fiddle - Celtic tune in Am, 2/4, ©1995 Peter Anick
La Maison de Glace - French  Canadian jig in D, 6/8, ©1997 Réjean Brunet (SODRAC)
The Merry Blacksmith - Irish reel in D, 2/4
Midnight on the Water - Texas waltz in D; often tuned DDAD, 3/4, ©Luke Thomasson (Wynwood Music Co., Inc.)
Minor Swing - Swing tune in Am, 2/4, solo by Andy Reiner, ©1938 Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli
Reel de Montréal - French Canadian reel in G, 2/4
Morrison’s Jig - Irish jig in Em, 6/8
My Cape Breton Home - Cape Breton air or waltz in G, 3/4, ©1988 Jerry Holland (SOCAN)
Old Joe - Oldtime breakdown in C, 2/4
Perrodin Two-Step - Cajun two-step in D, 2/4
 - New England, Scottish, English reel in D, 2/4
Pig Ankle Rag - Oldtime Southern rag in D, 2/4
The Reconciliation - Scottish reel in A, 2/4
Road to Boston - New England march or polka in D, 2/4
The Sailor’s Wife - Scottish jig in Dm or sometimes Em), 6/8, attributed to Niel Gow
Shove That Pig’s Foot a Little Farther in the Fire - Oldtime Southern reel in G, 2/4
Slider’s Reel - Bluegrass breakdown in D and A, 2/4 ©1994 by Dave Reiner  Sheet music here
Da Slockit Light - Shetland air in D, 4/4 (Slockit = Extinguished), ©1969 Tom Anderson (MCPS)
Small Fox, Big Field - New England reel in Bm, 2/4, ©2007 Eric Eid-Reiner  Sheet music here
Spotted Pony
 - Missouri oldtime breakdown in D, 2/4
The Stool of Repentance - Scottish jig in A, 6/8, Public Domain, by Niel Gow
Swinging on a Gate - Irish reel in G, 2/4
Trip to Moscow - Northumbrian March in Gm, orig. in Em, 2/4, ©1994 Ian Ball
Whiskey Before Breakfast - Canadian Métis reel in D, 2/4 attributed to Andy DeJarlis

Original Common Tune List

FH Tunes cover

You can order a 2-CD set of the original 52 common tunes, played both up-to-tempo and slowly by the Reiner Family Band. This is just $15 postpaid (within the  US) in our Store.

This will help you prepare for Fiddle Hell, or learn the tunes even if you can't make it this year.  Why 52 tunes? One for every week of the year, of course. 

Color code: Reels & Rags, Jigs & Marches, Waltzes & Airs

Angeline the Baker (Southern reel in D)
Ashokan Farewell (Northern waltz in D) by Jay Ungar ©1983 by Swinging Door Music-BMI
Athol Highlanders’ (Scottish march in A)
Big John McNeill (Scottish reel in A)
Bile Them Cabbage Down (Southern reel in A)
Billy in the Lowground (Oldtime and bluegrass reel in C)
Bodine’s Waltz (Western waltz in A) ©1981 by Dale Hopkins, founder of Fiddle Hell
Brian Boru's March (Irish march in Am)
The Butterfly (Irish slip jig in Em)
Cluck Old Hen (Southern reel in A Dorian)
Cold Frosty Morning (Southern reel in A Dorian)
Coleraine (Irish jig in Am)
Cooley's Reel (Irish reel in Em)
Cork Hornpipe (Irish hornpipe in D)
Devil's Dream (Scottish reel in A)
Drowsy Maggie (Irish reel in Em)
Fairy Dance (Scottish reel in D) by Nathanial Gow (public domain)
Flowers of Edinburgh (Scottish reel in G)
Gary Owen (Irish jig in G)
Golden Slippers (Northern song in G) by James A. Bland (public domain)
Gravel Walk (Irish reel in Am)
Haste to the Wedding (Ubiquitous jig in D)
Irish Washerwoman (English jig in G)
Julia Delaney's (Irish reel in Dm)
Kesh Jig (Irish jig in G)
La Bastringue (French Canadian reel in D)
Laird O'Drumblair (Scottish reel in A) by J. Scott Skinner (public domain)
Liberty Two-Step (Oldtime reel in D)
Little Liza Jane (Southern reel in A)
Maid Behind the Bar (Irish reel in D)
Old Joe Clark (Southern reel in A)
Over the Waterfall (Southern reel in D)
Over the Waves (Mexican waltz in G) by Juventino Rosas (public domain)
Ragtime Annie (Oldtime reel in D, two parts)
Red Haired Boy (Ubiquitous reel in A)
Redwing (Oldtime song in G) by Kerry Mills (public domain)
Road to Lisdoonvarna (Irish jig in Em)
St. Anne's Reel (Canadian Reel in D)
Sandy Boys (Southern reel in A)
Seneca Square Dance (Southern reel in G)
Shady Grove (Oldtime song in A Dorian)
Ships Are Sailing (Irish reel in Em)
Si Bheag, Si Mhor (Irish air in D)
Smash the Windows (English & Irish jig in D)
Soldier's Joy (Ubiquitous reel in D)
Spootiskerry (Shetland reel in G) ©1980 by Ian Burns
Staten Island Hornpipe (Scottish hornpipe in D)
Stone's Rag (Texas rag in C) by Oscar Stone (public domain)
Swallowtail Jig (Irish jig in Em)
Ten Penny Bit (Irish jig in Am)
Tennessee Waltz
(Oldtime song in D) ©1947 by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King
Turkey in the Straw (Oldtime reel in G)

Beaumont Rag in D
Inisheer Gravel Walk