[Callers] Calling to Quebecois Tunes

Beth Parkes ebay at hands4.com
Tue Feb 24 05:20:54 PST 2009


I can't really help with information on what to expect, but here is a
discussion on "What is a crooked tune?"

If you call contra dances, which are set to a strict 32 bars, then crooked
tunes are pretty deadly and you need to make sure the band knows that you
don't want them. If they hired a contra dance caller, hopefully they
understand the issue. 

What is crooked? There are several ways a tune can be crooked, but it mainly
just means not a regular 32 bars. Since this is a text based forum, here is
a text based attempt at an explanation:

Yankee Doodle is a straight tune:

Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony. Stuck a feather in his cap and
called it macaroni. (A1, repeat for A2)
Yankee Doodle keep it up, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mind the music and the step
and with the girls be handy. (B1, repeat for B2)

A crooked tune might do this:

Yankee Doodle, Yankity, went to town, riding on a pony. Stuck a feather in
his cap and called it macaroni.
Yankee Doodle keep it up, keep it way up, Yankee Doodle Dandy. Mind the
music and the step and with the girls be handy.

Or the band could cut beats:

Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony. Stuck a feather in his cap and
called it macaroni. (A1)
Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony. Stuck a feather in his cap and
(A2)
Yankee Doodle keep it up, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mind the music and the step
and with the girls be handy. (B1, repeat for B2)

Or crooked tune might have something like this:

Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony. Stuck a feather in his cap and
called it macaroni. (A1, repeat for A2)
Yankee Doodle keep it up, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mind the music and the step
and with the girls be handy. (B1, repeat for B2)
Be handy with the girls, you know, be handy with the girls. (Short C tag)

So basically a crooked tune is going to play havoc with a contra dance or a
straight New England square. On the other hand, less strict squares can work
with the tunes and the dancers can just go with the flow. 

HTH,
Beth
> -----Original Message-----
> From: callers-bounces at sharedweight.net [mailto:callers-
> bounces at sharedweight.net] On Behalf Of Nancy Turner
> Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 7:57 AM
> To: callers at sharedweight.net
> Subject: [Callers] Calling to Quebecois Tunes
> 
> Hi all,
> 
> I am super excited about calling the Montreal dance in March; the
> band is an amazing Quebecois trio. I have heard of crooked tunes, but
> don't understand the concept fully. Can someone explain? How does it
> impact calling? How likely am I to encounter it? Anything else you
> can think of that I might appreciate knowing about this genre of music?
> 
> Thanks!
> 
> Nancy Turner
> Waitsfield Vermont
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