In this Irish hornpipe fiddle lesson, I’ll teach you a lovely hornpipe called the Lone Bush.
The Lone Bush is an Ed Reavy composition, a really fine hornpipe. Fiddle players will enjoy the slightly challenging B part, which will test your left hand technique.
Ed Reavy is one of my favourite composers of Irish traditional music. He wrote some absolutely cracking tunes, many of which are often played in the Irish session scene. His reels are especially well known. But his other types of tune are also excellent, including this great hornpipe.
Fiddle player and composer Ed Reavy was born in County Cavan in Ireland, but moved the United States at the age of 14 and lived in the Philadelphia area for the rest of his life. He was a prolific composer – 126 tunes of his survive, and we are grateful to his brother Joseph Reavy for transcribing them, as Ed himself never wrote any of his tunes down.
The Lone Bush is not a well-known Irish session tune – but maybe it should be! In this lesson I play the whole tune through first on the fiddle, then I play it through slowly and in close up so that you can work out the melody.
I’ll break down a passage in the B part that is slightly tricky on the fiddle and give you some ideas about how to learn to play it well.
I also take you through some different fiddle bowing to get that Irish hornpipe sound. I really hope that you enjoy learning this great fiddle tune, and that you will take it away to your Irish sessions and play it. I would like to spread the word about Ed Reavy’s fine hornpipes!
Ed Reavy said of the title to this tune, that he would often look out at the little Hawthorn bush that stood outside his farmhouse. “Many times he wondered about that bush and why it surviced when all it perished. It has meant many things to him and has always been a life-sustaining thought”.