I think this hornpipe is totally awesome and I can’t get it out of my head. It’s a James Hill tune and goes nicely after "The Quayside" https://thesession.org/tunes/2740 as recorded by Syncopace.
I play this as the 2nd tune in a set, starting with a slow air, then Blaydon Flats followed by John McNeils - a superb Western Highland reel. I learned it from Tom McConville at a fiddlers idea of paradise - The Fiddlers’ Meet in Yorkshire a few years ago.
Two points -its not a hornpipe, its a reel. Try it, its hard but goes like stink if you can manage it. If you can’t, itmakes quite a good hornpipebutits not the real thing.
The second point is that its not really a JamesHill tune. Matt Seattle has uncovered a version of this tune that predates JamesHill’s version by about 20 years.It would seem that James Hill played it and was quite happy when people thought he composed it.
Whoever the originalsourcewas,it is most certainly a Tyneside tune. Blaydon Flats are alluviial meadows where the famous Blaydon Races used to be held.Now they are an industrial estate.
O tempora,o mores.
Angels of the North
Thanks for the info Noel! I play it the same speed as Syncopace and they take it fairly fast, like a reel, but then they play the hornpipe before it at the same speed… This one hasn’t got the 3 crotchet hornpipe endings to the parts though. I think it’s a great tune at any speed actually.
Some more delving into manuscripts has revealed that this is a composition of Abraham Mackintosh (born 1769) who, like James Hill, was a Scottish fiddler and composer living in Tyneside. This tune appeared in the Lister manuscripts, which were published around the same time as when James Hill was producing his compositions. That version is posted below:
|:A,2|D2FD CDB,D|A,DFG AGFE|DAFA DAFA|gfed dcBA|
d2df ecac|BcdB AFDF|G2BG FAdB|AGFE D2:|
|:g2|fdaf ecAc|BGdB AFDF|G2BG FAdf|gfed dcBA|
d2df ecac|BcdB AFDF|1 G2BG FAdB|AGFE D2:|
2 gbgb fagb|agfe d2||
This setting is quite close to the one I posted. I have to say I’m not all that keen on that 2nd time ending in the B-part.
In the manuscript of Abraham Mackintosh himself, the tune appears as "Miss Aubone Surtees’ Favourite". The original version (which has no repeats) is given below:
A,|D2FD CDB,D|A,DFA G2FE|DAFd Afda|gefd c2BA|
d2df ecaA|B2dB Adfa|gbfa gbag|fedc d3||
g|fdaf ecBA|dBfd cAGF|BGdB Adfa|gefd c2BA|
d2df ecAc|B2dB AdFA|G2BG FAGB|AGFE D3||
When I played this to some Irish session musos in Sydney, they thought I was playing a weird version of Ed Reavy’s "Aughamore Reel"!
Actually I like the first few bars of the original B-part. A nice variation on the posted version could be g2|fdaf ecAc|dBfd cAFA|BGBd Adfa|gfed dcBA|d…