> Brass Monkey > Songs > La Belle Jeannette / Billy Harrison’s Father’s Polka

La Belle Jeannette / Billy Harrison’s Father’s Polka

[trad. arr. Brinsford / Carthy / Evans / Kirkpatrick / Williams]

Brass Monkey played these two tunes in 2004 on their fifth album Flame of Fire. John Kirkpatrick commented in the record’s sleeve notes:

Thomas Hardy, the poet and novelist, came from a family of fiddlers who also wrote down a good number of tunes, and were generally in the thick of village musical life, a little later in the nineteenth century than the aforementioned Mr Moore. La Belle Jeannette comes from a violin tutor handed down through the family, and is reproduced in The Musical Heritage of Thomas Hardy - Volume One, edited by The Yetties for Dragonfly Music in 1990.

Billy Harrison was born in East Yorkshire in 1898 and spent a lifetime playing and singing in the area around Pocklington. Like the Hardy family, and John Moore, if there was music going on, he was in the middle of it. Before his death in 1986 he had recorded a cassette with Jim Eldon for Musical Traditions, with Billy on fiddle and cello. On of the tunes on here is the unusual Billy Harrison’s Father’s Polka.