This is a tune I heard played by Crasdant(a welsh trad band) and I think it’s a sweet tune!!
More like a hornpipe than a reel but such distinctions vary from one tradition to another. It was recorded by Eliza Carthy as The Grand Hornpipe, on her album ‘Heat, Light and Sound’, taken from the English collection, ‘A Northern Lass’.
I have also heard this tune from box player Gary Northeast, an Englishman living in Wales and specialising in Welsh traditional music. Although he knows it by its Welsh name, he also has an alternative English name for it - something like The Boys of Devon or The Devon Lads.
Well well well
That’s funny I play in Gary Northeast’s band!A lot of tunes seem to be adopted to the different Celtic nations and called their own.It just goes to show we don’t really know if they are Welsh,Irish or Scottish!
I met Gary busking in Newtown this September. We met up again the following night at a session in Llanidloes.
The Devon Lads
By the way "The March of The Lads of Devon" is a completly different tune.Mympwy means Whim so it would be "Portheinon’s Whim"
Portheinon = Port Eynon, a placename, down on the Gower Coast, with a beach…
Mympwy = whim ~ "mum - poy" ~ ‘poy’ like ‘boy’, but with a ‘p’, or if you know the stuff, like a certain foodstuff in the South Pacific and surrounds…
Portheinon ~ "poor - th - eye - n - on" ~ the ‘th’ is unvoiced, as in ‘both’ or ‘bath’…
"Mympwy Portheinon" ~ "Mum-poy Porth-eye-non"
aka Stables’ Grand Hornpipe (name added to get it to link to a CD)
Origin of name
I believe that this tune was found nameless in a manuscript and named Mympwy Portheinon (the Portheinon Whim) after an event involving the purchase of a very colourful shirt by Robin Huw Bowen of Crasdant, in Portheinon.
Beautiful little tune!
A Grand Hornpipe
It appears under this name in the Henry Stables manuscript (Cumbria, ? 1881 ) . Transcription here: http://www.village-music-project.org.uk/abc/stables.abc (tune 57). Version close to that starts at 2:48 in this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzUQfYcroFU
X: 2 “The Grand Hornpipe” - The Village Music Project - & - The Henry Stables manuscript - - -
STABLES, Henry ms INFO
STABLES, Henry ms ABC
STABLES, Henry ms PDF
A Grand Hornpipe
Maybe bit picky but if the The Village Music Project transcription is correct Stables has "A Grand Hornpipe" not "The Grand Hornpipe". I read that as "grand’ as in "that were a grand tune" rather than the tune having grandeur.
Thank for re-doing the link ‘c’.
“A Grand” = 1000 smackaroonies or moolahs - - -
It has been listed both ways, but yes, you’re right, in the Stables manuscript it is listed as "A". See also the origin of the Welsh tag "Mympwy Portheinon" above, not the first time such has been the case, either to find a name for a tune where the title wasn’t known, or just for the convenience of a moment, as has happened when producing a recording when someone thinks there are too many nameless tunes in the mix. Without going back into any tale weaving, I remember one recording where a good number of the melodies were ‘gan ainm’ but the recording company demanded names. The consequence of this is that those tunes are now known by those invented names, in part due to the talent of the musician involved, Denis Doody ~
My slip up is that while knowing this hornpipe by its invented Welsh name I first learned it from another musician as "The Grand", but also likely just said that way on the spur of the moment, or I may have misheard them? Mea culpa!
X: 3 - “The/A Grand Hornpipe” / “Mympwy Portheinon”
I first heard this and play it with more bounce, this transcription showing that and a few other possibilities with it. Crasdant plays it even, flattened out…