The New Road to Alston


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This is a tune I learnt from a folk group who visited the last school where I taught and played for all the musicians in the school. The tune dates from the 19th Century and I went on to arrange it for a larger-than-usual, but still flexible, ensemble. In the event, their version turned out to have several differences from the original.

It is in A minor and I soon realised that phrases from a minor version of Frere Jacques could be played alongside.

John Macadam, the inventor of modern road-building, laid a new road from Alston to Penrith in the early 1800s.

This is a reel, written for dancing: enjoy!