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Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe

GUEST,Eliza 07 Feb 11 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 07 Feb 11 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Eliza 07 Feb 11 - 11:03 AM
Bill D 07 Feb 11 - 01:08 PM
Bill D 07 Feb 11 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Eliza 07 Feb 11 - 03:20 PM
Bill D 07 Feb 11 - 11:23 PM
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Subject: Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 08:32 AM

Does anyone know where and when this hornpipe originated? It seems to have become a Morris dance tune, but I saw somewhere it was known in USA in the seventeenth century. It's so cheering,I'd like to know more about it!


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Subject: RE: Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 09:08 AM

The Fiddler's Companion gives the following entry:


RICKETT'S HORNPIPE. AKA and see "The Manchester Hornpipe [1]," "The New College Hornpipe" [1], "One Eyed Fiddler," "Raker's Hornpipe," "Sailor's Hornpipe [2]," "Texarkana Hornpipe," "Tomorrow Morning," "Yarmouth Hornpipe." English, Irish, American; Hornpipe, Breakdown. USA; Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, New England. Canada, Ontario. D Major (most versions): C Major (Hardings). Standard or ADae (some Southern versions, e.g. Tommy Jarrell) tunings. AABB. The particular Rickett honored in the title was a circus promoter, one John Bill Ricketts, a Scots immigrant who came from England in 1792 and flourished in America through the 1790's till about 1800, when his Philadelphia enterprise was destroyed in a fire on Dec. 17, 1799. He reportedly delighted his audiences by dancing hornpipes on the backs of galloping horses (Tribe), and toward the end of his career hired another famous American hornpipe dancer, John Durang, to produce pantomimes for him. Alan Jabbour (in "American Fiddle Tunes") says that circuses under his name appeared in New York City, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charlestown, Albany, Boston, Hartford, and Montreal.

***

The earliest appearance of the melody, finds Jabbour, was in Alexander McGlashan's Edinburgh-published Collection of Scots Measures of 1781, with the notation "danced by Aldridge," a reference to the great Irish-born dancer of the late 18th century Robert Aldridge (see note for "Aldridge's Hornpipe"). Krassen (1973) states that "Rickett's," common in the British Isles, is very popular in the Appalachians (albeit slightly less so than "Fisher's Hornpipe" which is easier to play), although in the South the tune lost all connections with the hornpipe dance, and is usually played at the same pace as a breakdown. Mike Yates (2002), however, demurs saying that "the tune was actually more popular in the northern cities and is one of the few tunes that is played in the south as a hornpipe." Bayard (1981) agrees it is an "exceedingly well‑known" hornpipe whose title is almost invariably the same, and that it was as popular with fifers in Pennsylvania as fiddlers. It was also popular with northeastern U.S. fiddlers, notes Bronner (1987), who says that by the 1850's it was a common selection for fiddle‑tune collections. It retained its popularity into the 20th century and was cited as having frequently been played for country dances in Orange County, New York, in the 1930's (Lettie Osborn, New York Folklore Quarterly). At mid-century it was one of the tunes often in the repertories of amateur fiddlers throughout the country, as, for example with Buffalo Valley, Pa., region dance fiddlers Ralph Sauers and Harry Daddario. Patrick Bonner, a fiddler from Beaver Island, Michigan, recorded the tune on 78 RPM for the Library of Congress. Bonner was the youngest son of immigrants from Arranmore Island, County Donegal (Beaver Island was destination for a number of Arranmore families), and the Donegal fiddle tradition can be heard in his playing. It was even recorded on a 78 RPM by the Irish-American group Dan Sullivan's Shamrock Band. The tune was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph from Ozark Mountain fiddlers in the early 1940's, for the same institution by Herbert Halpert from Mississippi fiddler Stephen B. Tucker (b. 1859) in 1939 (under the title "Raker's Hornpipe"), and in 1937 from the playing of Luther Strong (Hazard, Kentucky). It was played by R.L. Stephens of Camp Hill, Alabama, at a contest in Columbus, Georgia, according to the Columbus Enquirer of December 10 & 12, 1926 (Cauthen, 1990). One Georgia band heard on mid-1920's radio playing "Rickett's Hornpipe" consisted of a pair of uncles and a pair of nephews; the uncles were fiddlers Newt and Ed Tench, aged sixty-four and sixty-one years of age, who claimed to have been playing the fiddle for forty-five years or more. According to the newspaper the Atlanta Journal, they had "an enviable reputation as musicians in the mountain districts of Georgia," and they had fiddled together so long that "harmony between the two is merely a matter of second nature." (quoted by Wayne W. Daniel, Pickin' on Peachtree, 1990, pg. 54).

***

Versions of "Rickett's" are still quite common among traditional musicians in southern England, where its usually called "Pigeon on the Gate" or "We'll Sit Upon the Gate."

***

Sources for notated versions: Evans (Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma) [Thede]: Frank George (W.Va.) [Krassen]; Pop Weir, 1960 (New York State) [Bronner]; ten southwestern fiddlers and fifers [Bayard]; Warren Smith via Frank Maloy [The Devil's Box]; Dawson Girdwood (Perth, Ottawa Valley, Ontario); Kerry Blech (Seattle) [Silberberg]. Adam, 1928; No. 10. American Veteran Fifer, 1927; No. 111. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 165A‑J, pgs. 107‑111. Begin (Fiddle Music in the Ottawa Valley: Dawson Girdwood), 1985; No. 13, pg. 26. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; pg. 229. Bronner (Old-Time Music Makers of New York State), 1987; No. 26, pg. 111. Cazden, 1955; pg. 43 (2nd tune). Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; pg. 89. The Devil's Box, pg. 52. Ford, 1940; pg. 50. Hardings All‑Round, 1905; No. 174, pg. 55. Hardings Original Collection (1928) and Harding Collection (1915), No. 30. Howe (School for the Violin), 1851; pg. 38. Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), 1861; pg. 43. Jarman, (Old Time Fiddlin' Tunes); No. or pg. 23. Kennedy (Fiddlers Tune Book), vol. 1, 1951; No. 10, pg. 5 (appears as "Manchester Hornpipe"). Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 1; pg. 43. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; pg. 80. Lowinger (Bluegrass Fiddle), 1974; pg. 23. Miller & Perron (New England Fiddlers Repertoire), 1983; No. 138. O'Malley, 1919; pg. 17. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; pg. 169. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), Vol. 2, 1995; pg. 220. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; pg. 159 (appears as "Manchester Hornpipe"). Robbins, 1933; No. 68. Ruth (Pioneer Western Folk Tunes), 1948; No. 38, pg. 14. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; pg. 124. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; pg. 130. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1965/1981; pg. 47. Sym, 1930; pg. 11. Thede (The Fiddle Book), 1967; pg. 118. Thomas & Leeder (The Singin' Gatherin'), pg. 151. White's Excelsior Collection, 1907; pg. 51 (2nd tune). White's Unique Collection, 1986; No. 95, pg. 17. Columbia 15682 (78 RPM), The Skillet Lickers (1931. Appears under the title "Tanner's Hornpipe"). County 745, John Ashby‑ "Down on Ashby's Farm." Document DOCD 8060, Gid Tanner & the Skillet Lickers (reissue). Folkways FA 2381, "The Hammered Dulcimer as played by Chet Parker" (1966). Folkways FA 2472, Roger Sprung‑ "Progressive Bluegrass, vol. 3." Gennett 5613 (78 RPM), The Tweedy Brothers (1924. West Virginia). Green Mountain 1061, Wilfred Guillette‑ "Old Time Fiddlin.'" Marimac 9017, Vesta Johnson (Mo.) ‑ "Down Home Rag." Marimac 9064D, Lauchlin Shaw & A.C. Overton - "Sally with the Run Down Shoes" (1996). Mountain 310, Tommy Jarrell ‑ "Joke on the Puppy" (1976). Musical Traditions MTCD0231, Sam Connor (Copper Hill, Floyd County, Va.) – "Far on the Mountain, vols. 1 & 2" (2002). Rounder 0004, Clark Kessinger‑ "Old‑Time Music." Rounder 0084, Bill Keith‑ "Something Bluegrass." Rounder CD 0326, Benton Flippen. Rounder CD 1518, Luther Strong (originally recorded 1937). T Rounder CD1518, Various Performers – "American Fiddle Tunes" (1971. Played by Patrick Bonner). Traditional Crossroads CD 4284, Dan Sullivan's Shamrock Band. Dutch Cove String Band‑ "Sycamore Tea."


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Subject: RE: Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 11:03 AM

WOW! Thank you Peter, super info. This tune seems to have travelled far and wide. Not surprised, it's very jolly (like most hornpipes) and gets me motivated!


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Subject: RE: Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 01:08 PM

In case anyone not familiar with it wants to hear a midi, it can be found athttp://hetzler.homestead.com/SiteMap.html (under D tunes)

And a WHOLE lot more.


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Subject: RE: Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 01:11 PM

and just in case you need a midi player, this one is one of the best and is free.


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Subject: RE: Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 03:20 PM

Bill, I never realised that all this music could be heard like that, I so enjoyed it, and can visit the Hetzler site again. Thank you!


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Subject: RE: Origin of Rickett's Hornpipe
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 11:23 PM

You're welcome... *smile*.... Some great folks take a lot of trouble to do those sites. I just try to keep track of some.


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