Musical Diary

Nick’s Musical Diary spans over forty years. All the tunes are original – many are dance tunes, other are slower tunes, more like songs without words. The best ones are now available as a book, on sale in the shop here.

Please feel free to play these tunes, perform them, use them how you want. Send me your comments, or recordings, and I will add them to the website.

I have registered most of the tunes with PRS – if you perform them in public you should make a PRS declaration – via the venue (you don’t have to pay anything).

There a quite a few people referred to in these tunes – family, friends, musicians, morris dancers, pub landlords, bands, celebrities…thank you all!!


I wrote the tune “Skirmish” in 1993 when White Rose morris took on board Skirmish from Kemp’s Men but decided to dance it in the style of Oddington. At the time people were using British Grenadiers as the tune – and – while I have no issues with that tune – I thought it should have its own.

From White Rose, Dogrose inherited it and used it for their performance on ‘Later with Jools Holland’. Bryony Griffith taught the tune to Eliza Carthy, and their version has become the one that most people play.

White Rose still dance Skirmish – now in the style of Fieldtown – to my original tune.

I have been fascinated to watch and hear how the tune has changed, and how it sounds in the hands of other musicians, most of whom are far better than me!

Below are some versions of “Skirmish”.