Flowers of Normandy (John Sheahan)

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is one of four tunes written by John Sheahan that I have recorded this week, and the only one that I had not previously recorded in different form. I looked up the tune after Bren mentioned it in the "Autumn In Paris" thread -- many thanks for the lead, Bren!

    This is a lovely waltz, with a distinct French accordion inflection even when played on mandolin (or on John's fiddle). The transcription I have used is here:

    The second B part is a bit tricky!

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

  2. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great tune, arrangement and playing, Martin, and suits the mandolin so well. Thanks too for the notation. Another to add to the list of tunes I want to play!
  3. Frithjof
    Good job, Martin.
    After playing through the sheet music, I recognized the whole piece of music as a bit tricky. It looks and sounds appealing with your recording. For me it would mean a lot of practice hour to play it half-decent. There is a big pile of other tunes to do first.
  4. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Ah, lovely stuff, this needs to go on my "to learn" list!
  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, John, Frithjof and Jill. Yes, it's a great tune for mandolins. Playing it is mainly a question of timing to get the hesitations aligned with the waltz rhythm.

    I've also just noticed that the transcription I have used is by Alf Edwards, who also transcribed my source for The Marino Waltz. Thanks, Alf!

  6. Kevin Stueve
    Kevin Stueve
    thanks Martin, I am slowly going to learn this on mandolin because i think my wife would notice if I snuck home a squeeze box
  7. Bren
    Thanks Martin! One of my favourites, and very nicely played and accompanied, as always..

    I was first introduced to a decade or more ago it by Shetland friends at the Orkney folk festival. All the Shetland contingent seemed to know it.

    Somehow, a few years ago, I ended up playing it with friends, fiddler and guitarist, in Western Australia, at the Wanneroo folk club in the Perth suburbs.

    I was thinking of having a go for SAW but my guitar accompaniment skills need a serious upgrade first!
  8. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Bren -- I really appreciate you name-checking this tune in my earlier thread which pointed me in the right direction! The transcription I've used has a fairly complex chord progression, but I think that can be simplified quite considerably if needed. No need for all those fancy diminished and sixth chords, really...

  9. Bren
    You're right Martin, but needs a descending line to my ears which is not translating smoothly to my fingers! Guitar was once my primary instrument but it's a struggle now.
  10. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Martin, my thanks to you for posting this great tune. I have been working at it on and off between other projects since your posting, kept coming back to it and finally settled on a version on octave with guitar and bass backing. Slower than John Sheahan plays it and slower than your own version - the octave had some interesting fingering on the two B parts and those lovely accidentals, and I did stick with the chords on the notation you posted.

  11. Frithjof
    Another beautiful recording, John. The octave works great for this tune - especially in your slower version.
  12. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Great recording, John! I love the accidentals too, they give the feeling of harmonic minor.
  13. Gelsenbury
    This tune sounds beautiful and very difficult. It's no coincidence that only Martin and John, two of the most experienced and prolific players in this group, have risen to the challenge so far. Both versions sound great.

    There's something about this melody that reminds me of what my grandfather used to play on organ or accordion, even though I'm certain he didn't know any John Sheehan tunes. It makes me feel at home and very calm and happy inside. I may try to learn this when I'm all grown up!
  14. Brian560
    What a great sounding tune. Martin and John both played it flawlessly.
  15. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    The tune sounds great on OM, John -- quite different from my mandolin one, also because of the slower tempo and no tremolo. Glad to see you also opted to play the bass line separately. I think Bren is right that it needs that descending bass line.

  16. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, all of you. It is certainly a tune that deserves to be played a lot more. Would be good to hear some more versions. It was Bren's comment on descending bass line (especially the opening chord sequence of G major, G maj7, G6) that prompted me to include one, Martin.
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