The Sailor’ hornpipe

Also known as The College, Jack’s The Lad, Popeye’s.

There are 5 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Sailor’ has been added to 1 tune set.

The Sailor' has been added to 169 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Sailor'
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
dc |: d2 D2 D2 AG | FAdc dfed |e2 EF ^GBed |ce a2 a2 bc' |
d'c'ba bagf | gfed edcB | AcBd cfeg |[1 f2 d2 d2 dc :|[2 f2 d2 dBAG ||
|: FAdA FAdA | B2 G2 G2 BA | ^GBeB GBeB | c2 A2 A2 gf |
g2 b2 bagf | gfed edcB | AcBd cfeg |[1 f2 d2 dBAG :|[2 f2 d2 d2 dc ||
# Added by Grack .

Thirteen comments

Song in D, but often heard in B flat…

I usually hear this tune (see it written) in the key of Bb maj. You can’t seem to submit a tune in that key on, so I transposed it into Dmaj, the second-most common key for this tune.

A lot of people also know this song as Sailor’s Hornpipe, or the theme from the Popeye cartoons.

This tune was widely played prior to 1800, but continues to be popular.

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The Sailor’s

There appears to be an error in the first bar of the second half - shouldn’t it be FAdA FAdA?
Also, this tune is a version of Jack’s The Lad which is already on the database. For the avoidance of confusion perhaps it ought to be posted to the file on that tune as a comment.

Error in abc

Grack, there might be an error in the abc notation since the sheetmusic has not been created. I don’t think c’ is valid input. My abc program gives me an error message if I try to enter that.

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Heike, my copy of ABCMus2.0 played this tune ok without any error messages. I’ve checked the tune through manually and it seems to be valid ABC coding. The c’ and d’ in the first part are valid ABC inputs (an octave above c and d respectively), but some players may not like playing that high. And, as I said in my previous post each "c" in the first bar of the second part should be a "d". I still think it should be posted as a comment to Jack’s The Lad.


Gracke, what was your source for this version of the tune?

Sounce and corrections…

Okay, I figured out that this was the same tune as Jack’s the Lad. Someone had put this tune on the requests list recently. I was suprised it was not on there and posted it not realizing it was already here under another name.

This version came out of a book of Fiddle and Irish music for the mandolin.

Sorry about the error in the first bar of the second part. I used a program to transpose it…guess there’s a bug in the program…I should have proofread it before posting.

Yeah, looks I should just post this as a comment to Jack’s the Lad.

Thanks…. ;)

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..and the high notes….probably also due to the transposition. This one was originally written out in Bb…works better in that key….

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Playing on D whistle

I heard this played at a session recently on D whistles. I can’t remember their version well enough to see the differences between that and the one here but I’m sure there must have been differences because reaching the highest notes given here is hard. It needs a double over-blow and ends up as a shriek. The version you have given sounds OK (on the piano) Is there a version which works better on the whistle (preferably D, but C would be OK too)?

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Playing on D whistle

I think I’ve got my answer! Jack’s the Lad!

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The Sailor’s (in D, but often heard in B flat…)

Grack, it’s possible to submit a Bb tune by putting it under Gmin - which has the same two flats - and then just comment that the tune is really a Bb tune.
I ran into a similar problem the other day when I posted a tune in Eb. I got round that by posting it in Gmin and adding Ab’s where needed. But another member kindly pointed out that if I’d chosen Fdor it would have got those 3 flats automatically.

18th century version

Here is an 18th century version, from the William Clarke MS (1770) :

T:Colledge Hornpipe. WCl.59
S:William Clarke MS,Lincoln,1770.
Z:vmp.Barry Callaghan
BA|B2B,4FE|DFB4((3dcB)|c2C4cB|Ac f4 ga|!
bagf gfed|ecde BAGF|GBAc Bdce|d2(B2B2):|!
ef g2-gfed|ecde BAGF|GBAc Bdce|d2B2-B2:|

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