It’s interesting to observe the various and diverse ways that one can stumble across a "new" tune. In my case, mostly from sessions and festivals - but this time my source was different.
Our ceilidh band has just picked up a gig from another band. They’d accepted a booking, but unfortunately had to pull out owing to illness of one of the band’s members. Thinking that we ought to provide some equivalent material when we do the gig, I decided to have a look at other band’s website to see what kind of tunes they played. Their site carried a number of mp3 sound clips - I knew all the tunes in their clips, apart from this one.
I little research established that it’s from Gow’s second collection, 1788.
Hamilton House - The Dance
And here’s the instructions for the dance for which this tune is used:
Four couples men in one line facing lady partner
1st lady sets to 2nd man, turns (2 hands) 3rd man
1st man sets to 2nd lady, turns (2 hands) 3rd lady and joins hands with 3d couple facing up (meanwhile 1st lady has gone behind 2nd man and joins hands with 2nd couple face down)
Each threesome moves forwards then retreats
1st couple then turn (2 hands) 1 ¾ times round the man placing the lady between the two men
Leading man joins hands between ladies 2 and 3 Leading lady opposite joins hands with men 2 and 3
Forward then retreat
The leading couple then turn (2 hands) 1 ½ times the man placing the lady between lady 2 and 3
The three active couples join hands in a circle and four traveling steps left clockwise and four back
The leading couple are now placed below couple 2 and start again with couples 3 and 4
After 2nd time they step down to the end of the set of 4 allowing couple 2 to dance with 3 & 4
Hamilton House - Repeats in the tune
Note that the first part (8 bars) of the tune isn’t repeated, whereas the second part (16 bars) is repeated.
This gives a total tune length of 40 bars.
Hamilton House - 48-bar Version
If you play in a ceilidh band in England its nice to have a good stock of 48-bar jigs - we never seem to have enough of them. So for those of you with this requirement (who aren’t purists) here’s a possible 48-bar version.
Hamilton House - 32-bar Version
It could also be played as a 32-bar jig by taking the standard version, adding a repeat to the first part and removing the repeat from the second part.
In a 32-bar configuration it might set well with a tune of equivalent structure, e.g. "Maggie Brown’s Favourite"
Hamilton House, X:4
We played this version with chords in Aberdeen, it’s very fun.
Re: Hamilton House
From Wm Campbell’s 4th Collection C 1789. A very flirtatious dance but since 24 bars use a pas-de-bas setting step it is best for the college crowd.
The tune and dance as found in the Scottish Country Dance collections is 32 bars.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord NH, USA