The Rusty Gulley three-two

Also known as Chalk’s Hornpipe, Geld Him Lasses, Geld Him Lasses Geld Him, Geld Him Lasses, Geld Him, Punchenella’s Hornpipe, Punchinello’s Hornpipe, Risty Gulley, Rusty Gully, The Rusty Gully, Three Rusty Knives, Three Rusty Swords, Three Sharp Knives.

There are 13 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Dusty Miller (a few times) and The Pheasant’s Dance (a few times).

The Rusty Gulley has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Rusty Gulley has been added to 104 tunebooks.

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Nine settings

X: 1
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G/A/B/c/ dG BG|FA Ac BA|G/A/B/c/ dG BG|DG GB AG:|
|:g2 f2 eg|fd df ed|ce Bd Ac|BG GB AG:|
X: 2
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GABc d2 G2 d2 G2 | F2 A4 c2 B2 A2 | GABc d2 G2 d2 D2 | D2 G4 B2 A2 G2:|
g2ag f2 gf e2 ag | f2 d4 f2 e2 d2 | c2 dc B2 cB A2 dc | B2 (G2 G2) B2 A2 G2:|
X: 3
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: GABc d2G2 B2G2 | F2A2 A2c2 B2A2 | GABc d2G2 B2G2 | D2G2 G2B2 A2G2 :|
|: g4 f4 e2g2 | f2d2 d2f2 e2d2 | c2e2 B2d2 A2c2 | B2G2 G2B2 A2G2 :|
X: 4
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Bmix
|: Bcde f2B2 f2B2 | A2c2- c2e2 d2c2 | Bcde f2B2 d2B2 | F2B2- B2d2 c2B2 :|
|: b4 a4 g4 | a2f2- f2a2 g2f2 | e4 d4 c4 | d2B2- B2d2 c2B2 :|
|: Bcde f2B2 d2B2 | A2c2 c2e2 d2c2 | Bcde f2B2 d2B2 | F2B2 B2d2 c2B2 :|
|: b4 a4 g2b2 | a2f2 f2a2 g2f2 | e2b2 d2b2 c2b2 | d2B2 B2d2 c2B2 :|
X: 5
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Gmix
|: GABc d2G2 d2G2 | F2A2- A2c2 B2A2 | GABc d2G2 B2G2 | D2G2- G2B2 A2G2 :|
|: g4 f4 e4 | f2d2- d2f2 e2d2 | c4 B4 A4 | B2G2- G2B2 A2G2 :|
|: GABc d2G2 B2G2 | F2A2 A2c2 B2A2 | GABc d2G2 B2G2 | D2G2 G2B2 A2G2 :|
|: g4 f4 e2g2 | f2d2 d2f2 e2d2 | c2g2 B2g2 A2g2 | B2G2 G2B2 A2G2 :|
X: 6
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: d4 ABc2 d2A2 | F2A2- A2c2 B2A2 | d4 Bcd2 e2E2 | G2B2- B2d2 c2B2 :|
|: d2g2 f2d2 fga2 | d2g2- g2d2 fgaf | e2g2 f2a2 g2b2 | c'2e2- e2d2 c2A2 :|
|: d4 ABc2 d2A2 | F2A2 A2c2 B2A2 | d4 Bcd2 e2E2 | D2G2 Bcd2 c2B2 :|
|: d2g2 f2d2 fga2 | d2g2 g2d2 fgaf | e2g2 f2a2 g2b2 | c'2e2 e2d2 cBA2 :|
X: 7
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
Bcde f2 B2 d2 B2 | Bc e2 e2 d2 c2 F2 | Bcde f2 B2 d2 B2 | Bc g2 f2 d2 eedc |
Bcde f2 B2 d2 B2 | Bc e2 e2 d2 c2 F2 | Bcde f2 B2 d2 B2 | Bc g2 f2 d2 e4 |
b4 a4 g3 b | a2 e4 g2 f2 e2 | g3 a1 f4 e2 de | f2 B2 B2 d2 c2 B2 |
b4 a4 g3 b | a2 e4 g2 f2 e2 | g3 a1 f4 e2 de | f2 B2 B2 d2 c4 |
# Added by Shan .
X: 8
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
B2 de f2 B2 d2 B2 | c2 e2 e2 d2 c2 F2 | B2 de f2 B2 d2 B2 | Bc g2 f2 d2 e2 z2 |
B2 de f2 B2 d2 B2 | c2 e2 e2 d2 c2 F2 | Bcde f2 B2 d2 B2 | c2 g2 f2 d2 e2 z2 ||
b4 a4 g4 | a2 e2-e2 g2 f2 e2 | g4 f4 e4 | f2 B2 B2 d2 c2 B2 |
b4 a4 g4 | a2 e2-e2 g2 f2 e2 | g4 f4 e4 | f2 B2 B2 d2 c2 z2 ||
X: 9
T: The Rusty Gulley
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
M:3/4
a2 ga f2 | ge eb ge | da ca Ba | cA Ac BA :|
|:A/2B/2c/2d/2 eA cA|=GB Bd cB|A/2B/2c/2d/2 eA cA|EA Ac BA:|

Fifteen comments

Easy to learn

I used this as an introduction to triple hornpipes at a local session (George & Dragon) and everyone could play it by the end of the evening. They always ask for it now!

For those who don’t speak Geordie, a "gulley" is a large knife. I don’t think "The Large Rusty Knife" would have had quite the same ring to it…

Is this this written in 3/4?

This is a neat tune but the notation seems to be off - if it is written in 3/2 … Is this the way it’s played or has been written prior to this submission?

3/2 vs 3/4

The convention is to notate them in 3/2, but they get played more as if the notes were half the length (same thing with Irish reels). So some people notate 3/2s in 3/4, e.g. in printed tunebooks.

I personnaly like it in minor and in: ‘2+1/2’ (or ‘4+2/8’)
with an ‘aksak’ feel ratherthan the traditional solfah-ic way of stressing beats in the bar…

Shetlandish

I learned this song off of Kevin Henderson, and he told me it was a fairly common tune on the Shetlands. Nice easy tune.

Rusty Gulley

This tune appears as "Risty Gulley" [sic] in the Vickers’ manuscript (1770) but the second and fourth bars of each part (A + B) are very carefully written out as 6/8 bars i.e. two lots of three rather than three lots of two. This makes the tune a million times more interesting and about twenty times harder to play!! The Germans have similar tunes known as Zwiefache. (Zwie implying duality rather than the obvious Zwei meaning two!)

Mixolydian version on borderpipes

http://www.asaplive.com/farneaudio/m3u/borderpipes.m3u

Older modal English tunes were often rendered in major keys when the printers got hold of them for their publications. The old country dance tunes were often ‘adjusted’ to suit baroque tastes, and to fit with the emergent European systems of modality and notation when they were printed to follow the upper class craze for peasant dancing that began in the mid-Seventeenth Century. The older modal versions are much sexier than the sanitized major-key versions that are often played today, in my opinion.

Rusty Gulley - Three Sharp Knives

And the 1694-1695 Henry Atkinson ms http://www.folknortheast.com/archive/detail.asp?id=R0115201

T: Three Sharp Knives
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
R: three-two
K: Gmaj
GABc d2 G2 d2 G2 | F2 A4 c2 B2 A2 | GABc d2 G2 d2 D2 | D2 G4 B2 A2 G2:|
g2ag f2 gf e2 ag | f2 d4 f2 e2 d2 | c2 dc B2 cB A2 dc | B2 (G2 G2) B2 A2 G2:|

oops, forgot the S: tag. Info is in the first line of the post

Not mixolydian

There’s no history of this tune being mixolydian before someone tried to squeeze it onto a Scottish-style chanter. It’s not a question of the major key being a sanitized version of something wild, rustic and primal, more a question of misunderstanding. The linked recording is fine rendition, but it’s a fine rendition of a misunderstanding.

The setting currently appearing as X:6 is a different tune, the ‘real’ Rusty according to Vickers as opposed to the Risty according to Vickers. The most recent consensus on ‘Risty’ is that it means ‘mouldy’.

Not Mixolydian

"There’s no history of this tune being mixolydian before someone tried to squeeze it onto a Scottish-style chanter."

Um, the Henry Atkinson ms (1694-1695) is one of the oldest printed versions we have of this tune, and it is indeed written as mixolydian. And when you follow the link to the FARNE (Folk Archive Resource North East) website, they had this to say about the Atkinson ms:

"The book is one of the earliest fiddler’s manuscripts to have survived, and certainly the oldest from North East England. The meticulous bowing indications make it fairly clear that this is indeed a fiddler’s book."

So, it’s not a question of someone trying to "squeeze it onto a Scottish-style chanter" at all.

"It’s not a question of the major key being a sanitized version of something wild, rustic and primal, more a question of misunderstanding."

Based on the fact that the Atkinson ms is our oldest example of the tune, it would appear that Robert_Ryan had it right, in that later versions of the tune were indeed changed to a major key. I’m trying to be as civil as possible here, but it would appear that the "misunderstanding" is yours alone. To be fair, I do tend to gravitate towards
older, funkier, more modal tunes, but I truly do like this tune either major OR mixolydian. Cool tune either way,
I say!

-Jay

Not Mixolydian

The key signatures given in the Henry Atkinson MS must be treated with great caution. On the clear evidence within the MS Mr. Atkinson was certainly a better ear-player than he was a penman. A high proportion, approaching 25% of the 207 tunes, have no key signatures, and yet don’t make good enough sense without them. Although the A strain of Rusty Gully could work with F natural, the B strain does not. Furthermore, many tunes have no time signatures either, bar-lines are erratic, and some defy metrical interpretation altogether. I would not care to take anything in the MS as an accurate rendition of what he actually played in performance. There are however plenty of credible examples of this tune in the major mode.

The Rusty Gulley, X:9

By the time the tune made it’s way up to Aberdeenshire it had moved into A. This is how I learned it on the fiddle.
T:Geld Him Lassies Geld Him
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:Amaj
a2 ga f2 | ge eb ge | da ca Ba | cA Ac BA :|
|:A/2B/2c/2d/2 eA cA|=GB Bd cB|A/2B/2c/2d/2 eA cA|EA Ac BA:|