Back to Oldham Rant
OLDHAM RANT. AKA and see "Trip to Birey." English, Rant or Reel. England; North-West. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody is used for a polka step dance in the North-West (England) morris tradition. The 'B' part is similar to "Shepherd's Hey." The tune is contained in the 19th century Joseph Kershaw Manuscript. Kershaw was a fiddle player who lived in the remote area of Slackcote, Saddleworth, North West England, who compiled his manuscript from 1820 onwards, according to Jamie Knowles. Oldham is a town seven miles northeast of Manchester, England, now absorbed by the urban sprawl of the city. It is a manufacturing center and lies in a coal-mining region.
A 'rant' denotes a fast, lively, often rather simple dance tune, often in 2/4 time in English use. A similar tune in the first strain, perhaps ancestral, is contained in the Joseph Barnes music manuscript (Carlisle, c. 1762) as an untitled 'jig' in duple time:
X:57 T:Gigg, A. JBa.56 T:Oldham Rant?aka. JBa.56 M:4/4 L:1/8 Q:1/2=120 S:Joseph Barnes MS,Carlisle,1762. R:.jig O:England A:Carlisle N:1 - At least I think the squiggle in the slur is the sign for a N:shake..CGr...PR suggests 'Oldham Rant' from Kershaw.. Z:vmp.C.Graebe. K:D Major "_No key/time sig.Barred as written" f2 (dd) (dc) d2 eg| f2d2d2f2 | g2 ("1"g"sh"fe) |\ f2 d-d (dc) d2 e2 (fg) | af ge d2d2 :|! |:A2 A BA (F"sh"ED) | A2 (Bcd) d2 d2 |\ A2 A2 BA (F"sh"ED) af ge d2d2 |]
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Barber (Nick Barber's English Selection), 2011. Knowles (The Joseph Kershaw Manuscript), 1993; No. 46. Knowles (Northern Frisk), 1988; No. 105. Wade (Mally's North West Morris Book), 1988; p. 26.
Recorded sources: EFDSS CD13, Nic and Mary Barber - "Hardcore English" (2007. Various artists). Nic Barber - "Oldham Rant" (2011). Folksound records FSCD37, "The Band of the Rising Sun" (1996).