I was listening to one of the first bourrées I’d ever learned, “On d’onderon garda,” and realized I had this tune in a number of versions. I listened to them all and found it a fascinating exercise. Thus, here are a number of different versions of this ear-worm of a tune. Check out the sheet music, as well. (There’s a difference in how some play the second bar of the A section. Some play it as here, one-and-two-three, others play it as one-two-and-three. Choose wisely.)
I first heard this tune about twelve years ago, played by Sylvain Piron on a Castagnari Giordy, a tiny accordion with a concertina-ish sound.
I quickly downloaded the sheet music, which Sylvain had posted on his site. Later, when he visited the United States in 2002, we performed the tune together at the Grange hall in Trenton, Maine. Here is his recording on the giordy:
Sylvain’s light touch on the tune did not prepare me for the version I heard on a compilation called, Accordeons en Aubrec. This is pretty hard-core Auvergnat playing on the five-row, chromatic button accordion — the squeeze-instrument of choice for tradfrench music for most of the twentieth century. Note the spelling change of the name.
Here’s a version by the group, Jimber’tee, from one of AMTA’s early cassette tape series. This is a very wild version which I love. The tune doesn’t actually start til about 2/3rds in.
In another vein, a fellow over on concertina.net pointed me to this recording of the open session at the George Inn, featuring members of the George Inn Giant Ceili Band (GIG CB) leading the festivities. Members include Alan Day (concertina), Mel Stevens (pipes), and Chris Shaw (melodeon). I invite you to bask in the experience of living in all that sound, the pipes right there, multiple hurdy gurdies, fiddles, conversation, glasses clinking, and you drinking. The melodeon player has place his ear against the box in order to hear it! Marvelous.
Alan Day, of the GIG CB, has posted a solo concertina version of the tune on his YouTube. It’s a delightful rendition that shows that, while it may sound “concertina-ish,” the Castagnari Giordy is not a concertina. Alan does some very interesting things with the rhythm and chords. Take a listen.
Finally, here’s a reposting of my recording of this, made in 2008 (!!!) on my Salterelle Pastourelle.
3 thoughts on “Bourrée: On d’onderon garda”
The “most standard” spelling of this tune is probably “Ont anarem gardar”, “where shall we go keep [them]”, pronounced “ound anaren garda” (frenchish spelling) “oon danaren gardah” (englishish spelling). (Not that there is such a thing as “proper spelling” where different variants of occitan are concerned).
I also have it on the following recordings:
– Antoine Bouscatel, Roi des Cabretaires
– Duo Ancelin-Rouzier
– François Lazarevitch – Danse des bergers danse des Loups
– Jean Bergheaud (as “quand menarem gardar”)
– les musiciens aveyronnais à Paris
– Gaston Pouget – Jugar dau Violon
Excellent! Thank you … I am not so interested in “correct” and I like your phrase “more standard.” I find this stuff genuinely fascinating.