Pembroke Fiddle Repertoire

No other festival we’ve attended over the years offers more opportunity for great campground tune jamming that the annual Pembroke Fiddle & Step Dancing Contest. If you’re a newcomer you might want to familiarize yourself with the shared Canadian fiddle repertoire, which is vast to say the least.

Pembroke is on the Ottawa River, the border between Ontario and Quebec. As such, the tunes played at Pembroke are a nice mix of Anglo-Canadian and Quebecois music. For a quick study the repertoire centers around a few famous fiddlers including Don Messer, Graham Townsend (who in his day attended Pembroke) and Ward Allen in the Anglo tradition, and Joseph Allard, Joe Bouchard, and Yvon Cuillerier among the Francophones. A lot of New England and Maritime tunes are in this repertoire, as well. An abundance of “new tunes” can be heard, too, these being derived primarily from composition of Calvin Vollrath and Germain Leduc.

Here’s a list of tunes in no particular order to get you started. I’ll keep updating for my own amusement.

Reels

  • Ice on the Road
  • Don Messer Breakdown
  • On the Road to Boston
  • Soldier’s Joy
  • St. Anne’s Reel
  • Woodchopper’s
  • Blindman’s Reel
  • Angus Campbell
  • Bailey’s Breakdown
  • Big John McNeil
  • Dusty Miller (Miller’s Reel in the USA)
  • Liberty
  • Crooked Stovepipe
  • Fisher’s Hornpipe
  • Kiley’s Reel
  • Lamplighter’s
  • McNabb’s Hornpipe
  • Mother’s Reel
  • Old French (aka Rambler’s Hornpipe)
  • Mouth of the Tobique
  • Flowers of Edinburgh

Jigs

  • Charlie Hunter
  • Rock Valley Jig
  • Rocking Chair Jig
  • Dining Hall Jig
  • Murray River
  • Golden Rod Jig
  • Catfish Jig
  • Hundred Pipers
  • Haste to the Wedding
  • Irish Washerwoman
  • Jimmy’s Favourite
  • Little Burnt Potato
  • Whitewater Jig
  • Fairy Toddler
  • Ripple Rock Jig

Waltzes

  • Country Waltz
  • Valse Gisele
  • Valse Ramona
  • Westphalia Waltz
  • Frances Killen Waltz
  • Black Velvet Waltz
  • Interlake Waltz
  • Peek-A-Boo Waltz
  • Poor Girl’s Waltz
  • Good Neighbour Waltz

Two-Steps & other 4/4 type pieces

  • Down Yonder
  • Golden Slippers
  • Harrington Valley Two-Step
  • Fiddle Camp Two-Step
  • Ontario Swing
  • Bowing the Strings
  • Buck Fever Rag
  • Back to the Sugar
  • Happy Acres Two-Step
  • Silver & Gold Two-Step
  • My Little Home in West Virginia
  • Andy’s Centennial Two-Step
  • Four String Polka
  • Girl I Left Behind Me
  • Maple Leaf Two-Step
  • John & Vicki’s Two-Step
  • Ragtime Annie (3 parts)
  • Red Wing

2 comments

  1. A great list of tunes Charlie.
    I was very impressed when you won the Pure Laine competition a couple of years ago.
    Can I be the pedant..? “Flowers of Edinburgh” is not a jig.
    Cheers..!!

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