Auld String Theory at Burlap & Bean

December 14, 2018

We love playing at Burlap ‘n Bean.  Ol’ Burlap, as we call it. In October, November, and into cold December we worked up AST’s Christmas, Holiday, and Winter-is-coming sets.  Two of them.  Sold the house and the floor out again, and this was our first BnB appearance for the holidays, although we have done West Chester’s Old Fashioned Christmas many times, and other selected venues with this repertoire.  Here are the two sets we played, performed, and conquered this time…


Royal Snow Angels (Mash-up) Once in Royal David’s City, Snow Drop, Angels we have heard on High (David’s City – poem by Cecil Frances Alexander 1948, Music, Henry Gauntlett) (Angels – Bishop James Chadwick, 1862 to a trad. French melody. Snow Drop –attributed to Andy Andrews, 20th century.)
Saint Basil’s Hymn 7th Century Coptic Christian Orthodox hymn.
Past Three O’clock Tune and refrain c. 1650’s. Verses 20th century, George Ratcliff Woodward, published 1924)
Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake Words and Music: C. Frank Horn, 1883
Good King (Deck the King) Wenceslaus Mash-up — Good King Wenceslaus and Deck the Halls (Good King 1853, English hymnwriter John Mason Neale, Deck the Halls Traditional Welsh, 16th century)
Bottom of the Punchbowl Scottish reel, published in 1743, but probably older.
The Wren/the Wren a) English song and tradition published in 1776 b) Irish adaptation by The Chieftains (The tradition was for children to kill a wren and then go door-to-door singing and begging for money to give the wren a decent burial. I don’t think they spent the money on the wren.)
The Grinch 1966 TV special version Dr. Seuss , Albert Hague, music.
Linus and Lucy Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
House of Jingle Bells/Jingle Bells Mashup. 1857 James Lord Pierpont Original title “One Horse Open Sleigh”
No Place Like Home 1954 Robert Allen, music, Al Stillman lyrics,
Frosty the Snowman 1950, Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson


Jezebel Carol /Avenging and Bright Mashup (Jezebel, Robert Fleming, 1951, Avenging, Trad. Irish Air)
Ding Dong Merrily on High (tune: French secular dance tune published by Jehan Tabourot c. 1550, Lyrics English composer George Ratcliff Woodward)
Mary’s Boy Child 1956 Jester Hairston, music and lyrics (Harry Belefonte’s 1957 version was the first single to sell more than a million copies in the UK.)
Drunk at Night Dry Inda Morning Scottish air, written by Niel Gow (1727-1807). (The story goes that on Christmas eve one would get drunk because on Christmas morning, it was a Holy day, so you couldn’t drink. It was like getting a running start on the holiday)
Christmas Island 1946, Lyle Moraine,
Rise Up Shepherd Traditional Spiritual
Gather ‘Round the Tree 1863 John Henry Hopkins
My Window Faces The North new lyrics by Andy Andrews (adaptation of My Window Faces the South by Jerry Livingston, Mitchell Parish and Abner Silver. Popularized by Bob Wills)
White Christmas Irving Berlin, 1942 (The version sung by Bing Crosby is best-selling single ever with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.)
Blue Christmas Late 1940’s By Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson (First recorded in 1948 by Doye O’Dell, but became a mega-hit when recorded by Elvis in 1957)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1939, Johnny Marks. (Based on a book published by the Montgomery Ward Company in that same year. Gene Autry’s recording of it in 1949 hit #1 on the pop charts.)

March 16, 2018

‘Twas a sold out full house! Two sets on a chilly Friday in March 2018, on the Eve of St. Patrick’s. We mixed our Irish sounds with our rousing juggish hollers & made-up tunage. Here are the set lists, and some images…thanks to photographer John Shetron!

Andy Andrews on Banjo

Terry McGrath on Clarinet

Bill Russell on Guitar

Terry McGrath on Button Box

Fred Frayer on Mandolins

Bill Russell on Irish Harp

Jim Klingler on Guitar

Terry McGrath on HandPan

Heidi Frayer, Vocals

Set One

  1. Fly Eagles Fly – The Eagles flight song

  2. Morrison’s Jig (KEY-Em)

  3. Dennis Murphy/John Ryan /Bill Sullivan (KEY-D)

  4. Sonny’s Mazurkas (KEY-D-G-D)

  5. Gypsy Rover (KEY-G) Heidi

  6. I Know Where I’m Going (KEY-D) Heidi

  7. Fields of Athenry (KEY-D) LAST VERSE BILL HARP ONLY

  8. Off to California (KEY-G) BILL OCTAVE

  9. St James Infirmary (KEY-Dm) or Found Harmonium

  10. The Greyhound set (KeyD-Em-G)

  11. Britches Full of Stitches/New Market Polka (KEY-A)

  12. Oh Mona (KEY-A)

  13. Bohemia Rag (KEY-G-C)

  14. Good Luck John (KEY-Dm)

  15. Tam Lyn (KEY-Em/Am/Em)

Set Two

  1. Father Kelly (KEY-G)

  2. Green Whiskey (KEY-D)

  3. Southwind/ Fanny Poer (KEY-G) 3/3 1st Fanny T& B

  4. Wild Rover (KEY-G) Heidi

  5. Song for Ireland (KEY-D) Heidi

  6. She Beg She More (KEY-G) FRED OCTAVE

  7. Whiskey in the Jar (KEY-C) SING ALONG

  8. Ootpic Waltz (KEY-G)

  9. When I Woke Up This Morning (KEY-G)

  10. Dante’s Gift (KEY-Dm/F)

  11. Jig of Slurs Handpan (KEY-Dm/F)

  12. Johnson Boys (KEY-D)

  13. Jamie Allen (KEY-G)

  14. Planxty DisNDat (KEY-D)

  15. Planxty Irwin (KEY-D) Fred Octave

  16. Nobody’s Sweetheart (KEY-F)

  17. Waldorf Reel (KEY-G)

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