Yesterday was a real pita.

It was a work day, in that I had assigned myself the project of learning a new song for the Fairies and the Fantastic symposium coming up in February. I need songs incorporating Faerie folk, as well as stories of them, and trolls, and elves, and Hidden People.

The song I wanted to do was the Child ballad from the UK, “Tam Lin.” I have a couple of recorded versions of it, one by Fairport Convention and one (under the title “Young Tambling”) by Anne Briggs.

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Anne Briggs. Image:

Although Anne Briggs is my favorite exponent of British folk music, after listening several times to both recordings, I decided that I would adapt the Fairport Convention version from the album Liege & Lief for my own purposes.

I did a lot of minor adjustments to the lyrics, but the big challenge still remains, and that will be to boil down a multi-instrumental electric folk-rock accompaniment to a spare acoustic lap harp arrangement. The basic chords to the piece are quite simple, though.

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Fairport Convention’s album, Liege & Lief. Image: Open Spotify

I’m fairly happy with the lyrics I hammered out after singing the song a number of times. I have typed them up and printed them out, but the harp accompaniment has a long way to go.

Finally, after I get the accompaniment settled, I’ll need to memorize the very many verses of the ballad, and decide where the instrumental breaks should go, and develop the harp solos for those breaks, as well as the intro and outro.

So there’s still a lot of work to be done for this piece. Which is why I’m starting to work on this song in October for a February gig.

Afterwards, I decided to listen to some Chopin on some CDs. Listening then inspired me to attempt the “Funeral March” from his Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor, Opus 35, No.2.



The key signature includes five flats, which I absolutely adore! For some reason, though, a similar number of sharps makes me very unhappy. 😛


Considering that I haven’t played any Chopin whatsoever in years, this didn’t go too badly. Unfortunately, though, it led me to next attempt:  the Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa nova tune, “Wave.”

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Image of the Japanese EP of A.C. Jobim’s _Wave_. From eBay.

Even with my old chart in front of me, I could not make heads nor tails of the piece, which had been one of my signature jazz piano pieces, long ago.

I just bought a fancier chart of “Wave” online today from The chart I was using yesterday was from a “fake book” called the “Real Book.” LOL. Here’s what it looks like. You can tell it has seen a bit of use!



It was frustrating in the extreme! I did go back to it later that night and made a little headway then, but the earlier experience had cast a pall over the day.

Even with the fancier chart I bought today, I will still have to get my ears and my muscle memory together to remember the very tasty arrangement I had made, so long ago, of this tune, which is one of my favorite bossa pieces. And bossa is my favorite jazz genre! ❤