Higgin’s hornpipe

Also known as The Cliff, Higgins, Higgins’, Higgins’s, The Ruby.

There are 27 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

Higgin’s appears in 2 other tune collections.

Higgin’s has been added to 6 tune sets.

Higgin’s has been added to 69 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Higgin's
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AF|DF AF DG BG|FA de fd AF|GB dG FA df|ed cB AG FE|
DF AF DG BG|FA de fd AF|GB eg fe dc|ed dc d2 BG|
~A2Ad BA BG|FA de fd AF|G2 ef ge fd|ed cB AG FE|
DF AF DG Bd|FA de fd AF|GB eg fe dc|ed dc d3 f|
eA AG A2 fd|eA AG A2 ef|ge fd ed cd|ed cB AG FE|
DF AF DG BG|FA de fd AF|GB eg fe dc|ed dc dgfd|
eA AG A2 fd|eA AG A2 ef|ge (3fed ed cd|(3gfe (3dcB AG FG|
~A2AD BA BG|FA de fd AF|GB eg fe dc|ed dc d2|
X: 2
T: Higgin's
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DFAF DGBG|FAde fdAF|GBeg fedc|eddc d2BG|
A2Ad BABG|FAde fdAF|G2 ef gefd|edcB AGFE|
DFAF DGBd|FAde fdAF|GBeg fedc|eddc d3 f|
eAAG A2 fd|eAAG A2ef|gefd edcd|edcB AGFE|
DFAF DGBG|FAde fdAF|GBeg fedc|eddc dgfd|
eAAG A2 fd|eAAG A2ef|ge (3fed edcd|(3gfe (3dcB AGFG|
A2AD BABG|FAde fdAF|GBeg fedc|eddc d2|

Eighteen comments

Is this a Scottish tune?

Posted by .

The Cliff

This is the Cliff hornpipe, aka the Ruby, and is supposed to have been composed by James Hill.

Ah, James Hill - the Scottish-born Newcastle fiddler of the mid-19th century… god forbid this is an *English* hornpipe :->

Thanks Dow!

Posted by .

No, it’s a *Northumbrian* hornpipe 🙂 Well, kind of half Scottish I suppose. This tune has been submitted no fewer than 3 times to thesession.org under different names (is that a record). I’ve cross-referenced them with “Cliff”.

DOWdy, Dowdy, Dow, a fiddly dum dee dum dum, dooooo ~ 😛

Now, he said it was here ‘3’ times, well, I guess that’s true, but he never did get around to ‘CROSS-REFERENCING’ them under ‘The Cliffs’, unless of course it’s one I‘vemissed or that went bye-bye? I’ve also been waiting for him to give us a Northumbrian slant on this number, a la our beloved hornpipe king James Hill? ~ and his own way with it, but of course, over under the ’Comments’ for “The Cliff” of course. Now let’s see, he’s been working on this since April 2004? I know, I’ve no room to be talking…

Now will he ever look here? While he’s doing that I’ll see if the lad with my old American collections from the 1800s can find me a copy of the F Major take on it to add in the same place.

The only explanation I can give for not x-referencing them under “Cliffs” is that I’m under the impression that the name of the tune is in the singular - The Cliff Hp.

Sorry, it’s my lissp…

So, the ‘s’ threw you and you sat on it for how many years? You do know that the tune has acquired many names over time, even the plural of ‘Cliff’ and also, would you believe it, the possessive of ‘Cliff’s’… Hmmm, about the hint of procrastination here, that long delay, I hope we’re not seeing a pattern here. I wouldn’t like to think others suffer from the same misfiring of the brain cells as me…or putting things on hold for less than reasonable excuses? I’ll light a candle for you.

Hey, you know, you could have done it here under ‘Higgins’…
Sorry Dow, it is my suffering, I have to take it out on someone other than my beloved wife… 😉

Now stop changing the subject, I’m still depending on you for that James Hill information and his take on the tune, maybe with a date? Afterall, you started it, let’s finish it… I’m short some sources here but I looked online and couldn’t find an actual date for his existance other than the general reference of 19th Century musician and composer…

I have the dates 1840-1860 in my head for some reason. I think that’s when most of his work was composed.

I play this in F. I’ll post it another time. Right now I’ve just got back from a long drive and it’s 5.30 am. Bed.

Go to sleep, and goodnight, la, luh, la, laa, luh, la, laa ~

I’ve got a straight of D Majors against you full house of two F’s and 3 D’s… I also recollect a few A’s knocking about… The earliest variations of D Major I’ve been able to find all predate those few later collections that give it as being in the key of F. I was going to add and F take on it but I’ll leave the F’n about to you this time… 😛

Re: Higgin’s

Quite by accident I spotted this tune here:


"This manuscript is in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. It’s apparently from around 1835 and originated in South Yorkshire.

Contains a great many common time hornpipes plus a number of reels and a few jigs and waltzes."

The tune is number 23 in F and is entitled the “Reform Hornpipe”, aka the “Cliff Hornpipe.”