The Trumpet hornpipe

Also known as Captain Pugwash, The Strumpet’s Hosepipe, The Theme Tune For Captain Pugwash, The Thunder, The Trumpeter.

There are 33 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Trumpet appears in 3 other tune collections.

The Trumpet has been added to 21 tune sets.

The Trumpet has been added to 179 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Trumpet
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:(3GGG G2 (3GGG Gd|BGBd gdBG|(3DDD D2 (3DDD DA|FDFA cAFA|
(3GGG G2 (3GGG Gd|BGBd g2ag|fagf egfe|1 d2de dcBA:|2 d2de d2B=c||
|:(3ddd d2 (3ddd d2|efgf edcB|cded cBAG|FGAG FDEF|
(3GGG G2 (3BBB B2|(3ddd d2 g3b|agfe dcBA|1 G2B2 G2Bc:|2 G2B2 G4||
X: 2
T: The Trumpet
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:(3ddd d2 (3ddd d2|efgf edcB|cded cBAG|FGAG FDEF|
(3GGG G2 (3=FFF F2|(3EEE E2 (3_EEE E2|DGBe dcBA|1 G2B2 G2Bc:|2 G2B2 G4||
X: 3
T: The Trumpet
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:(3DEF|(3GGG G2 (3GGG G2|B>GB>d g>dB>G|(3DDD D2 (3DDD D2|F*DF>A d>B (3cBA|
(3GGG G2 (3GGG G2|B>GB*d g2 a>g|f>ag>f e>gf>e|(3ddd d>^c d2:|
|:B>=c|(3ddd d2 (3ddd d2|e*fg>f e>dc*B|c>de>d c>BA*G|F>GA>G F*DE>F|
(3GGG G2 (3=FFF F2|(3EEE E2 (3^DDD D2|(3DED fe (3ded (3cBA|G2 B2 G2:|
X: 4
T: The Trumpet
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:(3GGG G2 (3GGG G2|(3GGG Bd gdBG|(3DDD D2 (3DDD D2|(3DDD AB cAFA|
(3GGG G2 (3GGG G2|(3GGG Bd g4|fagf egfe|1 d2de dcBA:|2 d2de dcBc||
|:(3ddd d2 (3ddd d2|efgf edcB|cded cBAG|FGAG FDEF|
(3GGG G2 (3=FFF F2|(3EEE E2 (3_EEE E2|D2de dcBA|1 (3GGG BA FG3:|2 (3GFG AG FG3||
X: 5
T: The Trumpet
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G/G/G G2 G/G/G G2|BGBd gdBG|D/D/D D2 D/D/D D2|FDFA cAFA|
G/G/G G2 G/G/G G2|BGBd g2 g2|fagf egfe|1 defe dcBA:|2 defe dcBc||
|:d/d/d d2 d/d/d d2|efgf edcB|cded cBAG|FGAG FDEF|
G/G/GG2 B/B/B B2|d/d/d d2 g/g/g g2|agfe dcBA|1 G2B2 G2Bc:|2 G2B2 G2 D2||
G/G/GG2 =F/F/FF2|E/E/EE2 _E/E/EE2|DEFE DCB,A,|G,2 B,2 G,4||

Forty-four comments

This is one of those fun-to-play, let-your-hair-down tunes that everyone recognizes, in the same class as the Sailor’s Hornpipe, The Irish Washer Woman, and a few others I can’t recollect at the moment. We played it in a Bristol session last Sunday, and, as usual, finished the 3rd playing with the alternative B part below, which always goes down well with the pub audience. Note the F nat in the 5th bar and the E flat in the 6th bar.

“alternative B part”
|:(3ddd d2 (3ddd d2|efgf edcB|cded cBAG|FGAG FDEF|
(3GGG G2 (3=FFF F2|(3EEE E2 (3_EEE E2|DGBe dcBA|1 G2B2 G2Bc :|2 G2B2 G4||

Trumpet hornpipe !

I would have to say that this is not a tune I have ever heard any Irish musician play, and one I’ve always personally loathed.
If it’s indicative of the type of tune played at sessions in Bristol, then sorry, but I wouldn’t be sitting in. I predict a discussion along the lines of “The Irish Waterman” will follow, but maybe not.
At the end of the day, if it’s a tune you like, then fine, but I never thought it would turn up on this website.

Posted by .

Roger the cabin boy

captain pugwash.
that’s all!

I wouldn’t say it’s played all that frequently, just very occasionally for a bit of fun, that’s all - as I indicated. Most of the musicians I know, in more than one musical genre, like to let their hair down sometimes. I can also assure you that The Trumpet isn’t an indicator of the general run of tunes played in my area. I also believe the tune has been around for a long time - it’s in O’Neill and elsewhere.

Kenny, no way does this even come close to “The Irish Waterman”. That’s a true classic!

Perhaps the tune should be renamed “The Strumpet” - vulgar but good fun!

bigdave youre right - it is captain Pugwash…wow that brings me back to when I was 4- I cant see how this is either particularly fun to play or listen too.

Posted by .


Glad to hear that , Trevor. Maybe I will drop in on Bristol someday, after all!. And Dow, it is much,much worse than “The Irish Waterman” !!

Posted by .

When and where you play it depends on who’s listening. Last Sunday the country pub just outside Bristol had a couple of dozen lively 20-somethings who really appreciated it and the more regular ITM we played. Another pub, another clientele - no, I don’t think we would have played it.

The heck is this?

Looks like a series of arpeggios for the G major and D major chords.


I’ve never been bewrayethed in my life. And I don’t believe even Frankie Gavin could make anything of this particular tune.

Posted by .


An archaic form of “betray”. Sort of what this tune does to good musical taste. 🙂

Arpeggios in The Trumpet

Every tune I’ve come across consists of fragments of scales and arpeggios - it’s characteristic of western music, so I don’t see a problem with the arpeggios in this tune - 3 ascending G maj, 1 descending ditto, 1 D7, and a few fragments. And plenty of scale passages, including a complete descending scale. Any page of O’Neill will give plenty of similar examples. Anyway, it’s all good practice for Welsh harp hornpipes 🙂


e flat,my arse,pooka! - any supernatural entity can easily tell that the home key is D sharp major…

still hung up on the even numbers???
that flan o’brien’s a bit of a bugger,is n’t he!

ps: give my regards to jimmy stewart & harvey

Trumpet Hornpipe - its Northumbrian

The Trumpet Hornpipe doesn’t work if you play it as an Irish Hornpipe. It doesn’t really work if you play it in the English style asits too stodgey. You need toplay it in the Northumbrian (more specifically the Tyneside) style with very articulated notes, quite a bit of swing and lots of bounce. Good Northumbrian players make this one fly.
Noel Jackson
Angels of the North

The Trumpet is played a lot in Northumberland but is it Northumbrian? Specifically what source??

It’s in O’Niell’s - therefore must have had an Irish identity at some point in it’s history - and I’ve got a ceili band recording of it. It probably wouldn’t sound so bad if it hadn’t been murdered by Capt. Pugwash. It’s sounds a nice wee fun tune on the box, in between all the big reel sets - light relief.

Awaking the BOFs ~

T: Strumpet, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Gmaj
|: (3DEF |
(3GGG G2 (3GGG G2 | B>GB>d g>dB>G | (3DDD D2 (3DDD D2 | F*DF>A d>B (3cBA |
(3GGG G2 (3GGG G2 |B>GB*d g2 a>g|f>ag>f e>gf>e| (3ddd d>^c d2 :|
|: B>=c |
(3ddd d2 (3ddd d2 | e*fg>f e>dc*B | c>de>d c>BA*G | F>GA>G F*DE>F |
(3GGG G2 (3=FFF F2|(3EEE E2 (3^DDD D2 |(3DED fe (3ded (3cBA | G2 B2 G2 :|

Contributing to the delinquency of minors…


the tune is scottish

Is that so ?

Evidence for that , please ?

Posted by .

Love it or loathe it

If you play any kind of box then you just have to be able to play it. It is the equivalent of having a guitar, and not learning the opening bars to stairway to heaven. It is far less hassle to crank it out on demand and get on with things, than to try to explain to some drunk who only knows the name of one tune for the instrument why not.


You have to learn the sailors hornpipe too!

ITM Snobbery

I think its funny the amount of ITM snobs on here now. Whatever tune someone wants to play should be up to them. If a children’s programme used this hornpipe as it’s theme tune, surely it should be welcomed as an introduction to Trad music, lets face it there are not as many kids in sessions as there are at the local clubs.

The tune is a bit of fun and entertaining, if you think otherwise, maybe you should ask yourself why you play the music in the first place.

ITM Snobs

The ‘fun’ is also in making comment Accordionstu, don’t read everything you find here as ‘serious’. We all like to have a laugh now and then. The truth is usually cruel in that sometimes name calling, or passing judgement on others, is signs of our suffering the affliction ourselves. Don’t let the banter overcome your senses. I have in the past, and it doesn’t accomplish much of use…

Our rants and banter are mostly “a bit of fun and entertaining”, for us anyway… It may be wise for others who haven’t that understanding or appreciation to just let it pass overhead, or underfoot, wherever you find yourself, real or imagined…

Keep the faith ~ ‘c’ 😉

Snobs ?

You got there before me “c”. I’ll let this one pass.

Posted by .


Cheers Ceolachan for the comment, I enjoy reading the comments on here as much as anyone, however I thought that the first comment and use of the word ‘loathed’ . was stronger than banter. But I made my comment and would hope that neither you or Kenny take it too serious.

It’s only a comment and only a laugh after all.

Fair play stu ~ ‘loathed’ is actually a nice word in a fun sort of way, including how it forms in the mouth and reverberates in the ears. We all at some point slip up and let our negative feelings escape toward something we might consider ‘dag’ (do a search with ‘dag’ in ‘discussions’) or that we’ve overplayed or heard too many times being ripped through. But, it isn’t one I find myself using, though the sentiment may be felt, especially with the increasing wave of ‘new’ tunes and so-called ‘new’ ways of treating them…myself not excepted… 😉

Nice one

I see where you are coming from Ceolachan, I suppose murder is a nice word, especially in a Scottish accent. I must admit I enjoy the trumpet hornpipe owing to my previous life in a marching band but the tune that drives me mad now is the masons apron. Apart from hearing it murdered at every session, I was eventually put off by watching Davy Arthur at our local on banjo, it was a blur and a messy blur at that.
Lets see some more sliabh lucra tunes.

“I would have to say that this is not a tune I have ever heard any Irish musician play”

Barney McKenna and that lad who plays the mandolin with the dubliners did this one in between Cheif O’neills and the mullingar races on their 40 years tour. I think it write off a tune like this just because it’s light hearted and in a cartoon is dumb,


Stockwell London

Some years ago the band ‘Dingle Spike’ used to play a great version of this. The secret seemed be in ‘crunching’ the triplets. Only problen was u had to get your bow rehaired….

Is that pub still there? Can’t even remember the name of it……

Yeah hoopoe, the triplets are the key. On my whistle I play them crisp and percussive with lots of tongue, then put a bit of swagger and swing into the bit that comes directly after for contrast. If you play this tune straight off the dots it is an absolute dog, you need to put some character in it, then it comes right to life.

Early References

This tune appears in the Ironbridge Hornpipe, a set of tunes taken from one of three manuscripts of John Moore, held in the Vaughan Williams library. The editor believes the tunes were written down between 1837 and 1840.

Is that this John Moore, who collected music on the Isle of Man?

I looked up the EFDSS’s “Take 6” online browser thingamajig: You can view various bits of manuscript there - dunno if your tune is visible, but a solid page of results show when searching for ‘hornpipe.’ Might save those jpgs and print ’em out, as I did years ago with FARNE and things like the Vickers Manuscript.

I know a few people have pointed to this tune being in O’Neill’s, and in a couple of other collections…

It’s interesting. Local lore has it that the tune was written by one Tommy Edmondson, who died in 2001… but according to the eulogy here: it was only collected from his playing back in the fifties. Now… if the tune appears elsewhere, then he can’t have written it, but the story goes that it was his, and that he was never paid other than a fee for agreeing to record it in the first place. Who knows. The tune, though, is definitely a Northumbrian staple.

And yes, it’s bloody awful.

The Tommy Edmondson eulogy

Must point out that the eulogy doesn’t credit Tommy with writing the tune. Just playing it.

Trumpet Hornpipe

I’ve seen this tune credited to Purcell. Alistair Hardy, in his wonderful book the Caledonian Companion, prints it in e-flat and says that it comes from Köhlers’ Violin Repository, which dates to the 1880s. Is there a danger of snobbery here? Why must a tune be scorned because it is popular and well known?

Re: The Trumpet

Apparently Tom Edmundson learned this one from Jimmy Shand. Where it came from before that is anyone’s guess, but I imagine its either a Scottish or Northumbrian tune..

Re: The Trumpet

Because of the rather rancorous comments battle here I looked up the TV series on YT and rather enjoyed it. It is wacky and fun. Because of it, and the controversy in the comments, I very much want to learn the tune.

The Trumpet, X:5

I like this hoary old pot boiler. But anytime I’ve heard it, those triplets, (3GGG etc., have always been played as G/2G/2G G2. Though, writing that as a triplet may be a matter of notation convention.

I also like the last time ending; I’ve forgotten where I came across it. It’s definitely not Irish (or even folkish) but it does add a flourish.

Re: The Trumpet

I’m not sure how those “2’s” got into the ABC code. It should read:
But anytime I’ve heard it, those triplets, (3GGG etc., have always been played as G/G/G

Re: The Trumpet

Wow, I have never seen so much spleen vented at a tune! Having only heard the tune once I came here to investigate. I thought it was a nice atypical hornpipe, but admittedly I am not really a fan of hornpipes, finding most of them to be a bit ‘daggy’ to be honest.

Wondering if I should leave this one alone or have it in my pocket just in case I need to piss someone off?

Edit: I’ve heard it here as well