Click the links below to hear each movement.
I – The Galloper
A country parson visits the local fair and is drawn initially to the sounds of laughter and merriment from those riding ‘The Galloper’ (a gaudily painted roundabout driven on by the insistent rhythm of it’s mechanical organ). As the ride slows to a halt he is tempted to mount one of the mechanical horses, but his hesitation is too long….all seats taken the music begins again and he is left to look on.
II – Minstrel’s Song
Moving further into the crowd the parson comes across a Hurdy Gurdy man singing a simple sing of love and anguish. Each verse unfolds a further chapter in the tale of teenage lovers who stay true to each other through the trials of life until they grow old and contented together.
III – Dance
The local band strikes up a gay tune. Fuelled by the free flowing cider, a wild dance ensues, skirts flying, kisses and laughter! In an effort to halt this merriment the Salvation Army band play a sombre hymn tune. The two groups compete; the revellers finally winning the day.
IV – Finale
In dismay, the parson follows the hymn players as they move away. Small groups of musicians vie for attention. A gipsy fiddle band take up the theme of the hymn, twisting it into a Hungarian Dance. Again he moves on until he is mesmerised by a young girl singing a folk song whilst accompanying herself on on the guitar. As she finishes, the gipsy band begin a fast and furious number. The crowd are drawn to their amazing, virtuosic playing. The final few bars tumble wildly (to the parson’s delight) into the hymn tune once again. The crowd sing heartily. He is content.