Fred Pigeon's Polka

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FRED PIGEON'S POLKA. AKA - "Fred Pidgeon's No. 2," "Fred Pigeon's No. 2." AKA and see "Pearl O’Shaughnessy's Barndance (2)." English, Polka. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Fred Pidgeon (1880-1970)--note correct spelling of the name--was a fiddler, farmer and master baker from the village of Stockland, near Honiton, East Devon. He was from a family of bakers, following his father and grandfather. Pidgeon had played for dances in his youth, along with two cousins (one of whom, Joe Pimm, was his brother-in-law). "We all played all three violins. But the oldest of em, he'd play a lot of seconds and make we youngsters work. And we used to enjoy it. He could never speak to me when he was playing. I'd talk to him and he'd give a nod-he'd never answer. We used to have fine fun." He was recorded by Peter Kennedy in 1951 and 1954, and was still playing out in his 70's; as Kennedy remarks, "although tired from a long night of fiddling for local dances, Fred used to go straight from the hall to his bake-house to prepare the villager's daily loaves of bread." The 'A' part of the melody shows up in the first part of an Irish barndance set known as "Pearl O'Shaughnessy's Barndances."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 153.

Recorded sources: Folktrax FTX 087, Fred Pidgeon - "Ladies Breast Knot." Wildgoose Records, Rattle on the Stovepipe - "8 More Miles" (2005).




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