The Plane Tree

This popular session tune is a good example of how tunes move around and become adapted. I imagined that it derived from a traditional French tune, but no, some research revealed this history:

It originated as Mominette, a tune written by Maxou Heintzen in 1981 (another of his compositions, L’Inconnue de Limoise has become popular over here too). ‘Mominette’ means ‘small pastis’ in the South of France apparently. Later in the 80’s French musician and friend of Heintzen Michel Pichon brings it over to the UK, and in 1988 the American melodeon player and French trad enthusiast Gary Chapin picks it up from a ‘Massif Central’ tunebook, records it and renames it Scottish a Bethanie in honour of his wife of the same name, and sends it to his French mentor Sylvain Piron, who posts it on his website Still with me? A little later in the 90’s, member of the UK Late Night Band, Undine Hornby, adapts it to jig rhythm and names it The Plane Tree (she also wrote the excellent Hop Break, which may feature at a later date). So, both the 6/8 and the 4/4 versions have gradually wormed their way into the English repertoire.

For the session, we’ll stick with the jig version, but have a go at the other one. It’s one of those tunes where you can alter the chords a lot (I love ’em), so my chord suggestions are just that; you can try substituting some of the chords in the 4/4 tune – in particular, the B major in the penultimate bar sounds nice.

Here’s the pdf Plane Tree, The

and the abc

X: 1
T: The Plane Tree
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:"Em"EGB EGB|"Am"cBA "G"B3|"C"cde "G"dcB|"D"AGA "Bm7"B3|
"Em"EGB EGB|"C"cBA "G"B3|"C"cde "G"dcB|"D"AGF "Em"E3:|
|:"C"efg "D"f2e|"G"ded B3|"C"cde "G"dcB|"D"AGA "Bm7"B3|
"C"efg "D"f2e|"G"ded B3|"C"cde "G"dcB|"D"AGF "Em"E3:|
T:Schottische a Bethanie
C:Maxou Heintzen
"Em"E2GB E2GB | "Am"c2BA "Em"B4 | "C"cded c2BA | "Bm"G2A2 "Em"B2E2 |
"Em"E2GB E2GB | "C"c2BA "G"B4 | "C"cded c2BA | "B"G2gf "Em"e4 :|
"C"e2fg "D"f2e2 | "G"dedc B4 | "C"cded c2BA | "Bm"G2A2 "Em"B2E2 |
"C"e2fg "D"f2e2 | "G"dedc B4 | "C"cded c2BA | "B"G2gf "Em"e4 :|

And, for avoidance of confusion re the chords, me playing it through 3 times.