Nick’s Musical Diary

There are so many of these tunes, you might want to use the search box…


Written for the band Maxwell’s Demon when we needed an extra 48-bar jig.


Dates from when Mary was learning to play the concertina, and repeatedly played it wrong!!


Written for the band Maxwell’s Demon when we needed an extra 48-bar jig.


Most of my early compositions were for particular people. Mary got 2.

July 1989

In the words of Steve Harrison, “extracted from Nick’s brain in 1989 to prevent further damage”.

June 1991

In fact Mary got 3 tunes.

October 1991

Written for Gordon to play along with on his latest instrument, a “West African Coffee Table”

October 1991

This tune was designed as a wind-up, when Adrian was learning “The Alston Flower Show” – it starts the same, and then veers off.

October 1991

Not a very exciting tune – designed with a whistle player in mind.

November 1991

For Malcolm when he was playing trombone in the Celebrated Nook Band.

August 1992

The first of a series of holiday tunes, written in a cottage garden in Cornwall.

August 1992

Written after a trip round the village on summer holidays.

August 1992

The name of one of the appartments to let on a holiday in Cornwall.

August 1992

Again, the name of one of the appartments to let on a holiday in Cornwall.

August 1992

On holiday in Cornwall, this was our favourite beach.


Just a melodeon tune, written for dancing.


Official Brawl went through a “French” phase early on in their life, and wanted a 64-bar version of this well-known French tune.


Written for Clive Hetherington, White Rose Morris Men.

May 1993

Written for Vic and Sheila Gammon, when they were looking for a house in Huddersfield. They viewed a house which had a stream at the bottom of the garden (good point) but also a stream in the cellar (dodgy point).

June 1993

For Annie Dearman, who, like this tune, always seems to be busy doing something.


Written for White Rose Morris Men when they learned Skirmish from Kemp’s Men.

April 1994

The Rock is the pub in Brockholes, near Huddersfield, where we ran a monthly session for a while – playing “Rock Music”.

May 1994

After a row with Tom, during which a teapot got smashed.

27th May 1994

Written on the way to Romania with White Rose Morris Men.


June 1994

Written for Drew McKinley.

July 1994

Written for Bill Barrett on the occasion of his 80th birthday. He responded by getting up and dancing a jig.

October 31st 1984

A great tune from Cecil Sharp – expanded a bit for use by Official Brwal.

November 1994

The reason for this name is lost in the mists of time!!

November 1994

My first ever attempt at writing a waltz.

June 24th 1995

Written for and performed at Adrian and Margaret’s wedding.

December 12th 1996

This tune is the start of the “Musical Diary” tunes. In the Unix programming language square brackets indicate a range of possible values…

January 6th 1997

In the pub after a Slaithwaite Phil rehearsal, we played a game of guessing the colour of jelly beans by tasting them

January 7th 1997

After a discussion with Vic Gammon and Deborah, about jobs and the future.

January 7th 1997

Written at home while watching (with Tom) Harry Enfield.

January 7th 1997

After a Slaithwaite Phil rehearsal Deborah insisted on me having 50p “in case the car broke down”.

January 8th 1997

A sad tune – we play this very slowly.

January 8th 1997

Refers to Mary coming back.

January 10th 1997

This tune refers to a teatime at work.

January 12th 1997

Returning from Whittelsey, where the Straw Bear is burned.

January 14th 1997

Refers to myself – wanting too much.

January 14th 1997

Isaac was a percussion player we met at Whittelsey, and did a particularly good session with. (“This is NOT a djembe tune”)

January 14th 1997

No way will I speak into this mobile phone in the pub…

January 15th 1997

Written while Mary was playing Dvorak in the next room – and some of it leaked into the tune.

January 21st 1997

For the 8.03 Huddersfield-Leeds train – the best train at the time for anyone who could get up in time!!

January 21st 1997

Refers to a standalone comnputer.

January 28th 1997

Feeling depressed, I went for a walk in St George’s Fields, which is a cemetary at Leeds University.

January 28th 1997

After recovering from feeling depressed!

February 10th 1997

February 5th 1997

February 6th 1997

February 10th 1997

Marchh 9th 1997

March 9th 1997

Written on Mother’s Day 1997.

March 22nd 1997

March 25th 1997

In celebration of the fun I’ve had solving crosswords.

March 31st 1997

Written on an Easter trip to London – standing on the Greenwich Meridian.

March 30th 1997

This tune title started from making anagrams of “Happy Easter”.

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April 14th 1997

April 17th 1997

April 17th 1997

May 13th 1997

Written when taking Sarah for an audition at the Northern School of Music.

May 22nd 1997

“Tread lightly as you move through life, don’t cause too much of a wave.”

May 25th 1997

Refers to an upgraded PC…in those days 64MB was a lot!

May 25th 1997

May 25th 1997

Written for Colin and Yvette’s wedding.

May 25th 1997

May 26th 1997

July 12th 1997

July 13th 1997

Written on the overnight boat to Spain.

July 18th 1997

Written on holiday in Spain – having a lazy day.

July 19th 1997

Written for Emily, who was staying in the same house as us.

July 19th 1997

Written for Lois, who was staying in the same house as us.

July 19th 1997

July 22nd 1997

July 23rd 1997

An idyllic beach, visited on holiday in Spain.

July 25th 1997

July 25th 1997

Returning from holiday in Spain, the boat approached slowly enough to write several tunes.

July 25th 1997

Returning from holiday in Spain, the boat approached slowly enough to write several tunes.

July 25th 1997

Returning from holiday in Spain, the boat approached slowly enough to write several tunes.

July 25th 1997

Returning from holiday in Spain, the boat approached slowly enough to write several tunes.

August 8th 1997

Written for Baz Parkes at Sidmouth.

August 9th 1997

August 9th 1997

For Lisa McDermott, one of the best melodeon players I’ve met.

August 22nd 1997

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August 22nd 1997

September 17th 1997

September 18th 1997

September 27th 1997

September 30th 1997

October 9th 1997

October 9th 1997

October 10th 1997

October 11th 1997

October 19th 1997

October 19th 1997

October 20th 1997

October 20th 1997

November 16th 1997

November 21st 1997

November 21st 1997

November 25th 1997

December 3rd 1997

December 9th 1997

December 24th 1997

December 24th 1997

December 25th 1997

December 30th 1997

January 18th 1998

February 28th 1998

March 2nd 1998

March 8th 1998

March 21st 1998

Ned was the only one NOT at the Riverhead, Marsden.

March 22nd 1998

An interuption at work – to have tea!

March 25th 1998

Nick’s new morris tune variant.

March 26th 1998

April 6th 1998

Tea with Art and Deborah was dominated by Art’s sweet tooth.

April 6th 1998

April 13th 1998

Millions of rotting oranges were dumped by the roadside on holiday in Corsica.

March 26th 1998

April 19th 1998

Made up during a brilliant weekend at the King’s Arms, Low Row.

May 17th 1998

July 4th 1998

Refers to an incident on a coach with White Rose Morris.

July 4th 1998

Drew was playing his guitar on a bus, and moved the capo every time the key changed. This tune was intended to cause him problems.

July 31st 1998

August 3rd 1998

Written walking back from the sea front to the Radway in Sidmouth.

August 5th 1998

August 5th 1998

Poppy is a melodeon player – we first met her in the Radway session

August 11th 1998

August 16th 1998

August 16th 1998

Oliver is Guy and Emma’s child – a baby at the time.

August 16th 1998

August 25th 1998

September 18th 1998

September 19th 1998

October 2nd 1998

Written for Christina’s birthday – some of the words are included.

October 15th 1998

October 15th 1998

October 25th 1998

November 25th 1998

November 27th 1998

February 1st 1999

February 28th 1999

MArch 16th 1999

March 17th 1999

I was shocked at how directly a particular smell can remind you of the past.

March 20th 1999

April 18th 1999

May 3rd 1999

May 11th 1999

Written for Joe Chatterton, violin player, died 11th May 1999.

July 2nd 1999

While driving through Leeds, we spotted a fireplace that might have been suitable for our front room. But the traffic didn’t allow us to stop.

July 2nd 1999

July 3rd 1999

Describes the head on a pint, during a White Rose morris tour.

July 4th 1999

July 8th 1999

Written for Juliet Bangay, born 4th March 2000.

July 23rd 1999

Written on a plane flying to Romania

July 27th 1999

Ana-Maria was one of the teenage daughters in the family we stayed with in Romania.

August 1999

Septmber 5th 1999

September 16th 1999

Written for the landlord of the Sair Inn, Linthwaite, Huddersfield. Ron refused to light the pub fires until a certain date in the autumn when he deemed it to be cold enough. On this day there would be a small fire-lighting ceremony.

Octber 1st 1999

October 1st 1999

October 15th 1999

November 6th 1999

November 6th 1999

November 24th 1999

November 25th 1999

November 25th 1999

Mike Briggs made up this name for Mary.

December 21st 1999

For Anna Clough, graphics expert at Leeds University

January 4th 2000

March 2nd 2000

For Debby Noble, fellow commuter on the train to Leeds, who would always wear a coat with a fur collar.

March 2nd 2000

April 21st 2000

For Lynne Wadsworth.

May 19th 2000

For Anna Clough, when she started one of her unsuitable relationships.

October 30th 2000

Please Do Not Put Your Rubbish on the Fires Which are not Burning

A challenge – to set to music this crazy notice spotted in the Sair Inn, Linthwaite.

March 11th 2000

May 31st 2000

Catching the 8.03 train to Leeds again.

January 1st 2001


Made up while babysitting – and it worked!

August 2000

August 2000

Written for Mick Brooks

August 2000

I invented this during a “Big Band” workshop. The subject – “Listening and Responding”.

April 20th 2001

Another lullaby for Juliet.


August 2000

Written when Tom gave up being the landlord of the Radway pub in Sidmouth. Now always the first and last tune I play in the Radway each year.

May 12th 2001

Written during Holmfirth Folk Festival 2001.

July 7th 2002

June 28th 2001

November 19th 2001

Composed for Hansi’s 80th birthday.

March 14th 2002

I woke up one morning with this tune in my head, complete with words. I have no idea why!

April 18th 2002

June 2002

Written at Stean Cottage.

October 20th 2002

September 2002

October 31sr 2002

July 23rd 2003

For Mary, in the Dolomites

July 6th 2003

For Margaret.

July 26th 2003

Written for the staff at the hospital, and performed for them.

October 2003

I invented this whilst watching Gordon and Sue dance a mazurka.

September 17th 2003

Mary’s nickname after her ankle incident.

January 10th 2005

February 22nd 2005

August 4th 2021

November 5th 2005

August 16th 2020

August 4th 2021

May 1st 2018

February 20th 2006

Written for Will Allen and Martin Clarke, April 2020

Written at the birthday party of Carol Klemperer, 17th February 2018

18th January 2000

April 4th 2021

September 1st 2007

September 25th 2006

June 24th 2006


November 16th 2017

November 16th 2017

May 2nd 2005

March 3rd 2005

March 3rd 2005

March 24th 2020

January 1st 2018

January 2nd 2018

January 3rd 2018

January 4th 2018

January 5th 2018

January 6th 2018


July 10th 2019

January 23rd 2019

February 20th 2008

January 27th 2013

January 19th 2006

November 1st 2019

April 13th 2013

July 5th 2016

May 25th 2021

September 17th 2011

May 29th 2014

February 14th 2022

July 23rd 2004

April 5th 2022