Tunes by Sarah Gowan (mostly)


Valley Green Waltz   abc   pdf
Bill Quern and I have played for several weddings at the lovely Valley Green Inn in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.

Bee and Bramble   abc   pdf
A waltz written in honor of the best mead I've ever tasted.

The House on the Rock abc   pdf
One of my favorite vacations was to The House on the Rock in Wisconsin. In this waltz I try to capture a little of the crazy wonder the place inspired.

The Little Beech Trees   abc   pdf
A farewell waltz for my sweet friend Tori Barone, who passed away September 1, 2011

Mariah's Key
A waltz for my great-great-great-grandmother Mariah Gowan. abc   pdf

Handshouse Waltz
Written for, but not played, at a lovely wedding in the woods.   abc   pdf

January Spring   abc   pdf
The bears are awake and the flowers in bloom - whatever happened to winter?

Crossing Ithan Creek   abc   pdf
I cross Ithan Creek three times to get to my local contra dance

My Father's Table   abc   pdf
A waltz for hard lessons learned -- and unlearned.

Felix Falls in Love   abc   pdf
A waltz for my brother and sister-in-law. Felix was a character he played in a regular stunt show gig.

What-Not   abc   pdf
A waltz for Susan Terry, my mom, on her 65th birthday. She one time said to me:"The only problem with putting up a what-not shelf is that sooner or later you're bound to get what-nots."

Dancing Flowers   abc   pdf
A waltz for Judith Flowers written with Bill Quern


Bingo Wings   abc   pdf
A British expression for those jiggly bits under your arms.

The Glaikit Quean   abc   pdf
An awkward tune for an awkward lassie. Also the fingering makes fiddle players cranky. Come to think of it, so did the gal.

Balance the Bees   abc   pdf
A dorky little summer jig

The Doubtful Guest   abc   pdf
Written after an unsettling visit with a sick friend.

The Cellphone Goes Too
  abc   pdf
A jig written when I realized my cellphone plays the first two bars of Off She Goes

Lootering   abc   pdf
A jig written after Katrina. A New Orleans resident said in an NPR interview, "We wasn't lootering, we only took what we needed!"

Tampico Road   abc   pdf
Written at my family's farm in the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont.

Reels and Polkas

Ig-Night   abc   pdf
Another tune written with Bill Quern to console ourselves the night we got snowed out of the Phoenixville Firebird Festival.

Hell Hot and Heaven Sweet   abc   pdf
Named after a sign we saw on North Carolina Baptist Church

Janie Janie Jane   abc  pdf
A birthday tune for my bandmate the very talented fiddler Jane Rothfield.

Down for the Count   abc   pdf
I can't remember writing this one, probably because I had a fever of 102.

Lost Mitten (Romney's Retreat)   abc   pdf
A post election tune - use the title that suits you.

Give Us a Fishie and We'll All Go Home   abc   pdf
My muse is a little bit mental. I didn't choose the title - it chose me.

The F-Bomb   abc   pdf
A tune written with Bill Quern after we learned "F-Bomb" was a new word in the dictionary.

Skippin' Jenny abc   pdf
Leftover Hoppin' John - a New Year's traditional dish.

Thunder Snow abc   pdf
Written during a January storm.

Nancy in a Shirttail   abc   pdf
"Nancy in a shirttail" was my grandmother's expression for getting caught nekkid.

Cricket Moon    abc   pdf
A little tune for the crickets that hang out on my porch in late summer.

Dance with Larry   abc   pdf
Every year at least one set in the Rum & Onions repertoire completely defeats me as a player and is branded with the notation "DWL" at the top of the page. Thanks to Larry Koplik who cheerfully acknowledges the difficulty of the tunes and invites me to dance instead. I now enjoy my "DWL sets" as a well-deserved break, and the time I can appreciate how great the band sounds from the dance floor.
Further trivia: Larry and I were delighted to discover we are vaguely related. His wife, also named Sarah, is my stepfather's stepsister's cousin.

Picnic at the River Jordan   abc   pdf
In the last weeks of my grandmother's life she began seeing and conversing with her deceased brothers and sisters. At one point, when the house started feeling a bit crowded with spirits and memory, my stepfather was heard to mutter, "Jeez, you'd think ONE of them could find a flippin' boat to take her across the River Jordan."

Waiting for Answers   abc   pdf
Bill and I composed this tune during a tense week between medical tests. It was good news.

  abc   pdf
A pobblebonk is also known as a Banjo Frog, so called because of it's distinctive sound. This is a banjo tune written on concertina and doesn't sound at all like a frog. I just liked saying "pobblebonk".

Bones and a Beer   abc   pdf
a K-Lee riff

Anne Drove   abc   pdf
An an dro made in the car

Big Phat Ragg   abc   pdf
A tune for the Big Phat American K-Lee Band - August 2005

WestGrove   abc   pdf
A polka written while driving to visit my friend Tori


Torpedoed Birthday   abc   pdf
A Zwiefacher, a dance which alternates waltz (3/4 time) steps and pivot steps.
Written for Bill’s father for his 90th birthday celebration.
He told us of how he was torpedoed when he was 19 and rescued from the life raft when he was 20.