James Hill

James Hill

Does anyone have any in-depth knowledge of the Scottish-born, Northumberland resident, semi-itinerant alcoholic genius composer James Hill, who produced the main body of his work between 1840-1860, which comprised among other things The Scholar, The Rights of Man, and of course many other great tunes?

Thanks

Danny.

Re: James Hill

Whoa, you’re kidding me! I didn’t realize the composer of The Scholar or Rights of Man was known. What else did he compose, Danny? I want to know too!

Re: James Hill

Great composer of tunes indeed.
I play The Hawk ( named after a Pub ) on the GHB and it fits beutifuly.
TTFN
PP

Re: James Hill

Did he compose the hornpipe "the Locomotive"? I thought I heard somebody say once…….

Re: James Hill

David - thanks - quite an impressive list of tunes there. Now where did I read that Jamesy composed The Scholar? Would it have been on the liner notes for Joe Burke’s The Bucks of Oranmore?

Re: James Hill

Brilliant, David. It may well be down as a H/pipe, cos the Shaskeen is down as one in O’Neill’s 1850, but called the Shaskeen Clog.

Re: James Hill - Hornpipe Wizard

Hill - one of my heros.
Oddly enough, Hills repertoire is almost exclusively limited to 4/4 with no jigs (to my knowledge) and no 3/2 "Long or Double" hornpipes which were also popular at the time.
Being Northumbrian-nuts, we play about half of the stuff listed both in session and for dancing, and are learning the rest.

For further reading (and some of Hills tunes online), look at Pete Louds books (containing half Hill and half ITM) at http://users.powernet.co.uk/mkmarina/tunebook/tunebook.html

Re: James Hill

Thanks Geoff, on that link it gives loads of James Hill’s tunes which I’ve put up here:
Navvie, (G), The
Locomotive Hornpipe, (D), The
Underhand Hornpipe, (B Flat), The,
Underhand Hornpipe, (G), The
Redesdale Hornpipe, The
Steamboat, The
Steamboat, (2), The
Cage Hornpipe, (G), The
Spotted Bitch, (G), The
Quayside Hornpipe (A), The
Quayside Hornpipe, (G), The
Gateshead Hornpipe, (A), The
Gateshead Hornpipe, (G), The
Barber’s Pole, (G), The
Hawk Hornpipe (E), The
Hawk Hornpipe, (D), The
Hawk Hornpipe, (G), The
Champion Hornpipe, (D)
Great Exhibition, (F), The
Great Exhibition, (D), The
Fiddler’s Fancy, (E)
Fiddler’s Fancy, (D)
High Level Bridge Hornpipe, (G), The
Lads Like Beer, (F), The
Lads Like Beer, (D), The
Earl Grey Hornpipe, (A), The
West End, The
Enterprise Hornpipe, (A), The
Enterprise Hornpipe, (G), The
Omnibus, The
Flying Dutchman, (A), The
Flying Dutchman, (D), The
Miss Hunter’s Hornpipe, (D)
No. 8 Hornpipe, (F), The
No. 8 Hornpipe, (G), The
James Brown Hornpipe, (D)
No. 9 Hornpipe, (F)
No. 9 Hornpipe, (D)
Tykeside, (F)
Tykeside, (D)
Proudlock’s Fancy (B Flat)
Proudlock’s Fancy, (G)
Marquis of Waterford’s Hornpipe, (B Flat)
Marquis of Waterford’s Hornpipe, (G)
Old Church Hornpipe, (G), The
Bottle Bank, (B Flat)
Bottle Bank, (D)
Blaydon Flats, (D), The
Beeswing, (B Flat), The
Beeswing, (G), The
XYZ Hornpipe, (A)
XYZ Hornpipe, (G)
Tide Comes in, (B Flat), The
Tide Comes in, (G), The
Jenny Lind, (A)
Jenny Lind, (G)
Little Jim’s Hornpipe, (B Flat)
Little Jim’s Hornpipe, (G)
New Year’s Gift, (A), The
New Year’s Gift, (G), The
Charles Attwood, (A)
Charles Attwood, (G)
Hill’s Fancy, (B Flat)
Hill’s Fancy, (G)
Hill’s Hornpipe, (B Flat)
Hill’s Hornpipe, (G)
Pear Tree, (F), The
Pear Tree, (D), The
Newcastle Hornpipe, (B Flat), The
Newcastle Hornpipe, (A), The
Spence’s Tent (B Flat)
Spence’s Tent (G)
Gardener Lads, (A), The
Gardener Lads, (G), The
Foga Bella
Free Trade, (B Flat), The
Free Trade, (G), The
Tweedly Park
Hawk Polka, The
South Shore, II, The
Scholar, The
Cliff Hornpipe, (D), The
Wonder Hornpipe, (G), The
Golden Eagle, The



…including as you see, the Golden Eagle! The man was a genius, for sure.

Re: James Hill

But interestingly omitting "The Rights of Man". Hmm…

Re: James Hill

Gary, if you had genuinely been that *interested* you might have checked the tune list submitted by DavidA, which does contain the Rights.

Re: James Hill

I did, Danny. I was attempting to point out the discrepancy between the two lists. On the sheet music for Rights of Man on the page that Geoffwright referred to, the composer is listed as "James Hill ?", not "James Hill", and it’s not in the list. On the site that DavidA linked to, it is listed. That leaves a question in my mind.

Re: James Hill

OK, Gary, fair enough. But I don’t think either list claims to be the comprehensive list of all of James’ tunes.

Re: James Hill

It’s a pity I missed this subject when it came up in March.

James Hill was a resident of Tyneside rather than Northumberland.

Graham Dixon’s book The Lads Like Beer has the most background info. on James Hill and is well worth reading. In my ‘research’ for my tunebook, "Northumbrian, Tyneside & Other Traditional Fiddle Tunes" I extensively ‘referred’ to TLLB.

I suspect some of the tunes attributed to James Hill were not by James Hill, for example Stoney Steps appears in a 1790’s manuscript, long before Hill’s time. Where there is doubt, I put "James Hill ?" as the composer. In the general section of my book I do include "The Rights of Man" with the composer as "James Hill ?" I came across a manuscript which attributes The Golden Eagle to James Hill, but that does not mean that the guy who produced that manuscrpt was correct. I tried to seek extra confirmation by looking for a pub in Gateshead, around 1840 - 1860 called The Golden Eagle, but could track one down :-( Incidentally, The Free Trade pub is still there, I don’t think it has been redecorated since JH played there.

One tune which I particlarly like is The Cage. For anyone brought up within earshot of a Coliery Winding engine the "Cage" there can be little doubt that it refers to the cage in which men were lowered/raised to the coal seam.

Re: James Hill

Hi All,
James Hill’s Family is in our Family Tree. Their Family name is Craig or Hill and they came from the Berwick-upon-Tweed area North of Rothbury Northumberland.

Regards,

H.B