CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in London

Ted Carr - Repertoire

Ted's repertoire is mostly the popular songs of club life: a few numbers he plays on their own, such as the Harry Lime Theme, Stranger on the Shore, and the Bluebell Polka; but much more characteristically he arranges them in selections, the individual tunes linked by flourishing arpeggios: Four-leaf clover, Ma he's making eyes at me, Who's sorry now, and Me and my gal, as one group for instance, or I'm forever blowing bubbles, You are my sunshine, I belong to Glasgow, Follow the van and When you're smiling. These tunes he plays complete with bass and full harmonies and ravishing arabesques whenever the activity of the melody is held up for a while.


Particularly interesting are the breakdowns which Ted is so insistent aren't 'real tunes'. These are set out here for comparison with the English Breakdown of Billy Cooper, (here) and the Belfast Hornpipe (50), both tunes used for step-dancing in East Anglia. Since Billy Cooper learnt the Breakdown from his father, and his father was in London for some time, one may wonder if it is in fact a London tune after all, rather than one of the two typical tast Anglian dulcimer-tunes, as is generally thought. Certainly, Ted has mentioned no connections with East Anglia.

He has also written music of his own, which is great fun.