The Quarrelsome Piper hornpipe

Also known as Quarrelsome Pipers, Williams’.

There are 18 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Tim The Turncoat (a few times), Golden Wreath (a few times) and The Harvest Home (a few times).

The Quarrelsome Piper has been added to 1 tune set.

The Quarrelsome Piper has been added to 53 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Quarrelsome Piper
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: (3DEF |(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D2 | B>AG>B A>GE>F | G>Bd>g e>cA>F | G>gf>e (3ded (3cBA |
(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE (3DED | B>DG>B A>GE>F | G>Bd>g e>cA>F | G2 B2 G2 :|
|: (3Bcd |e>B (3BcB g>B (3BcB | e>Bg>B e>B (3BcB | d>A (3ABA f>A (3ABA | d>Af>e (3ded (3cBA |
(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D2 | B>DG>B A>GE>F | G>Bd>g e>cA>F | G2 B2 G2 :|
X: 2
T: The Quarrelsome Piper
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(3DEF|(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D>G|B>DG>B A>GE>D|G>Bd>g e>cA>F|G>gf>e (3ded (3cBA|
(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D>G|B>DG>B A>GE>D|G>Bd>g e>cA>F|G>B (3AGF G2:|
|:(3Bcd|e>B (3BcB g>B (3BcB|e>Bg>B e>B (3BcB|d>A (3ABA f>A (3ABA|d>gf>e (3ded (3cBA|
(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D>G|B>DG>B A>GE>D|G>Bd>g e>cA>F|G>B (3AGF G2:|
X: 3
T: The Quarrelsome Piper
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: (3DEF |(3GBG (3FAF (3EGE D>G | B>FG>B A>GE>D | G>Bd>g e>cA>F | G>gf>e (3ded (3cBA |
(3GBG (3FAF (3EGE D>G | B>FG>B A>GE>D | G>Bd>g e>cA>F | G>B (3AGF G2 :|
|: (3Bcd |ve>B (3BBB g>B (3BBB | e>Bg>B e>B (3BBB | d>A (3AAA f>A (3AAA | d>gf>e (3ded (3cBA |
(3GBG (3FAF (3EGE D>G | B>FG>B A>GE>D | G>Bd>g e>cA>F | G>B (3AGF G2 :|

Nine comments

Let’s see, who comes to mind? - Seamus Ennis? - - -

The story of ‘The Bodhran and the Pocket Knife’

My dates are awful, but that is the way of the dyslexic, old before my age, except that age is quickly catching up with me. It was in the 70s? Yeah, I’ll go with that.
It was at a concert in Clare, and Seamus Ennis was one of the featured players, the grand old cantancerous fart. It was his turn and he was on stage, and not unusual for the man, he was pissed. As usual for such a concert he was also miked, though I can’t remember monitors being on stage with him, but he had all the punch of a powerful modern PA to broadcast his every breath and note of swear out across a wide swath to a large and attentive audience. He started up his pipes and I’m not sure which set of dance tunes he’d chosen but the spirit was taking hold of him. A phrase or so into the set he stops and scowls, not a happy man and something not unusual for the Seamus. He then says something to the effect -

"Who the feck’s playin’ that bodhran?" (try to imagine the slur and accent.)

There was no answer, just silence, and that gasp of added melodrama from the audience sucking in air… He paused and started up again, and this time he didn’t get as far, stopping after only a few bars…

"Who the feck is playin’ that bodhran?"

He paused, resting his chanter, and then comes the punch line, again I can only approximate any of this, not having it recorded:

"You know, there is only one way to play a bodhran, and that is with an open pocket knife."

Now, any of you who’ve had the pleasure, ha!, of doing sound, and I’ve a smattering of experience here, know that a wood stage and a bare mike stand on that wood stage would mean that any strong vibration or knocks against that stage will travel across the floor, up the mike stand and into the mike - and register through the speakers. Well, I said he was pissed. Curiously, there was only a ‘bodhran player’ when he played. He was hammering away with his feet on the stage, attempting to be in time with himself, and not particularly adept in his state… Let’s say ‘slurred’. Anyway, his banging of his huge size 14 shoes (or were they 15 - massive none the less) against the floor was coming across as beats through the sound system and bouncing off of various things and coming back to him, with the expected delay, and that ‘slur’. He was the "f’in’ bodrhan" player. It was his own feet he was cursing…

Oops! - slipped on that ‘E’/’e’(part deux - bar 1)…and corrected in the ABC. Also, that drop down to a low ‘C’ was a way of irritating an old piper. Often it is played as another triplet - (3DED| or just a nice hold on - D2| ~

Higher C

I prefer simply to play those low C’s an octave higher - thats the way I know it and I think the way most folks play it. I’d normally play part one-bar two the same as part one-bar six (i.e. with the D rather than the A). The first A in part two bar four is also good as a g. Great tune though - surprised that its only been posted now. :-)

The tune is a transcription on the whole, so the differences between bars are there because they were ‘sometimes’ played, such as between the ‘D’ or ‘A’. Also true with the drop down to the low ‘C’. Yes, a lot of wind players I’ve heard play that an octave up, understandably. As mentioned, the ‘growl’ was just being mischievious on the part of those that could. This transcription was from a session and all those variants mentioned were used… I kept it short…
;-)

I’ve gone back to the recording - a small private session that included Seane Keane and Peadar O’Loughlin -
Very few of us were so foolish as to lay it down to that growl ‘-D>C|’, maybe one other besides me, but no one in this particular recording. The main fiddle had it as simply ‘-D2|’, consistently, while the winds tended to treble it as ‘-(3DED|’, while it was a small group, eight at most, no one did it as ‘-D>c|’…

My apologies for letting it slip, except as said, the low ‘C’ was ‘used’ to raise the ire of a certain other - a ‘niggle’, a bit of playful fun… Usually I would have caught that and made sure the usual ‘variants’ were better represented too, as I now have done with the ABC file. It was a late night and the pocket knife story drove me to distraction.

Great story, great tune.

The ABCs are reasonable, without my irritating ‘smart ass’ low dips… Apologies for letting that into the first transcription, as evidenced in the dots and midi… You’d need a few pints to understand…

Great hornpipe

One of the better Irish hornpipes. Joe Hutton’s version of this is very much as you’ve posted, ‘c’, but those "c"s you speak of, he played as "G"s. He played this beautifully. Lovely solid rhythm, nice steady pace, all the accents in the right places, really smooth triplets… a real pleasure to listen to. Most musicians I’ve heard play it have ruined it already even before the 1st bar is over:

X: 1
T: Quarrelsome Piper, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Gmaj
(3DEF|(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D>G|B>DG>B A>GE>D|G>Bd>g e>cA>F|G>gf>e (3ded (3cBA|
(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D>G|B>DG>B A>GE>D|G>Bd>g e>cA>F|G>B (3AGF G2:|
|:(3Bcd|e>B (3BcB g>B (3BcB|e>Bg>B e>B (3BcB|d>A (3ABA f>A (3ABA|d>gf>e (3ded (3cBA|
(3GAG (3FGF (3EFE D>G|B>DG>B A>GE>D|G>Bd>g e>cA>F|G>B (3AGF G2:|

And, with more of a feel for the even, almost slide-like way it’s actually played:

X: 1
T: Quarrelsome Piper, The
M: 12/8
L: 1/8
R: hornpipe
K: Gmaj
DEF|GAG FGF EFE D2G|B2D G2B A2G E2D|G2B d2g e2c A2F|G2g f2e ded cBA|
GAG FGF EFE D2G|B2D G2B A2G E2D|G2B d2g e2c A2F|G2B AGF G3:|
|:Bcd|e2B BcB g2B BcB|e2B g2B e2B BcB|d2A ABA f2A ABA|d2g f2e ded cBA|
GAG FGF EFE D2G|B2D G2B A2G E2D|G2B d2g e2c A2F|G2B AGF G3:|

X: 3 “Williams’ Hornpipe” / “The Quarrelsome Piper”

B: "Allan’s Irish Fiddler", arranged by Hugh McDermott, Mozart Allan, Glasgow, 1920s - 30s?, page 25, tune #97