Shields Fair hornpipe

Shields Fair has been added to 10 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Shields Fair
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:de/f/|g2GB dBGB|c2 B2 B2de/f/|g2GB dBGB|c2 A2 A2 de/f/|
g2GB dBGB|c2B2 e3d|cBAG Eedc|B2G2G2:|
BggB AffA|GeeG FddF|Eedc BAGF|A2G2G2:|
X: 2
T: Shields Fair
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AFDF AFDF G2 E2|AFDF ABcd e2 E2|AFDF AFDF G2 E2|afdf ecAc d2 D2:|
ecAc ecAc d2 B2|ecAc efge a2 E2|AFDF AFDF g2 e2|afdf gecA d2 D2:|

Eleven comments

This is a recent composition by Chris Ormston, a fantastic Northumbrian smallpiper. He posted it to the NSP news group after teaching it by ear to a group of students in Cumbria.

Sheilds Fair

The structure of this tune seems more like a hornpipe.

Shields Fair

Not composed by Chris - and he wouldn’t pretend it was either. I believe the setting, c. 160 years old, is from Robert Bewick’s manuscript via my edition. Let’s have a bit of accuracy please!

Mea culpa. I’ll try to be more accurate in the future, Headmaster.

Not that it matters: after writing those comments I remembered this tune, so I looked the tune up in my database and rewrote my comments. But for some unexplained reason my original comments showed up here.

Those comments are null now. However, the connection this tune has with James Hill should be noted. The tunes associated with Hill have a characteristic bounciness to them, which is particularly well set off—imho—in the setting Chris posted on another public forum, and which I copied here.

James Hill

I ain’t no headmaster John, and I’m not wearing that other hat you suggested elsewhere! No hard feelings of course, it’s just my nitpicky character that I prefer correct facts to incorrect onesn if they’re available. But they’re only facts.

There’s a connection with James Hill in that this tune has been attributed to him, and is similar in style to some of his, but the attribution is doubtful as there are other ms versions which predate his composing period - I don’t have that info to hand, so you are most welcome to prove me wrong if you find otherwise. Another Hill tune which isn’t really one is Blaydon Flats, actually composed by Abraham MacKintosh, and there are others.

Of course it’s great when a tune you wrote becomes traditional, no argument there at all.

Matt (hoping for an invite to WA)

Matt, you crack me up.

LOL @ headmaster. I’m even worse - it bothered me that John didn’t obey the "i before e except after c" rule when the tune was originally submitted. Now it’s been changed and I still haven’t managed to clean the red biro ink off my computer screen.

This is all so funny, I’ve got the hiccups.
I will write a hundred times,"I will never post another tune late at night."
The next tune I post will be "Dunse Dings All". 😉

It also seems to be related to another, older, tune, a triple hornpipe in D which I found here

..and their relation explained in the Fiddler’s Companion:

BLACK MARY(‘S) HORNPIPE [2]. AKA and see "The Shields Hornpipe." English, “Old” Hornpipe (3/2 time). D Major. Standard. AABB. This melody, republished in Offord’s John of the Greeny Cheshire Way and The Plain Brown Wrapper Tune Book, is a variant of "Shields Hornpipe," which appears in William Vickers’ 18th century Northumbrian dance tune collection. The original appears in Walsh’s Third Collection of Lancashire Jiggs, Hornpipes, Joaks etc. (c. 1740). Plain Brown Tune Book, 1997; pg. 4.

T:Black Mary’s Hornpipe
AFDF AFDF G2 E2| AFDF ABcd e2 E2| AFDF AFDF G2 E2| afdf ecAc d2 D2:|
ecAc ecAc d2 B2| ecAc efge a2 E2| AFDF AFDF g2 e2| afdf gecA d2 D2:|

These things certainly do get around, which shouldn’t be surprising given their association with musicians and all…

And now I’d like my report card, please. :D

Sheilds Fair

I’ve started to taking my fiddle to the Martlet’s Morris Men’s practises, here in West Sussex, and came across this tune being used for a stick dance made up (I think) by the squire, Jim. that’s the first score given above. And the dance is called, I believe, Shields Fair.

Under the Old Myrtle Tree

That’s the name of the dance for which the Martlets men use this tune.