Henry Cave’s hornpipe

Also known as Bath Road, Henry Cave’s No. 2.

There is 1 recording of this tune.

Henry Cave's has been added to 17 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

1
X: 1
T: Henry Cave's
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GABc d2gf|g2ec BdBG|FGAB c2ed|cBAG FA(3DEF|
GABc d2gf|g2ec BdBG|FGAB cecA|1 G2F2 G2 (3DEF:|2 G2F2 GABc||
|:d2ed d2ed|d2ga bgdB|c2dc c2dc|c2ag fedc|
d2ed d2ed|d2ga bgaf|gdec dBcA|1 GBAF GABc:|2 GBAF G2(3DEF||

Fourteen comments

Henry Cave’s

One of several tunes that our tune tutor brought back from a fiddle workshop at the Sidmouth Festival 2006, and is now teaching to us.
It is an English hornpipe (not like an Irish hornpipe), and comes from Somerset in the West Country.

Trevor, how are English hornpipes different from Irish?

Henry Cave’s

Bob, I hadn’t really thought about the difference between English and Irish hornpipes so I asked a couple of players at the English session I go to on Tuesdays. I was told that English hornpipes aren’t played quite as dotted as the Irish ones, and that English hornpipes preceded the Irish, historically speaking.
There may very well be more to it than that, so if any members can give a more detailed explanation I’m sure we’d be very grateful.

Henry Cave’s

This particular hornpipe is also known as Henry Cave’s No. 2. Apparently, he composed more than one.

Henry Cave’s Hornpipe

Bob, have look at discussion #11128 (if you haven’t already), on the difference between hornpipes and reels. Relevant points I uncovered are,
1. An English hornpipe isn’t swung as much as an Irish hornpipe.
2. An English hornpipe would be played in more of a "classical" style than an Irish hornpipe.
3. It’s not so much of a structural difference as the way in which they’re played, something like the difference between the way the Scots and the Irish play reels etc.
Hope this helps.

Henry Cave’s

A little more information about Henry Cave: he was a Somerset fiddler, and knife grinder by trade.

Re: Henry Cave’s

A nice hornpipe but I’m curious/dubious of the attribution to local fiddle player Henry Cave (1854-1907). It doesn’t appear to relate closely at all to any of the original source transcriptions that I’m aware of that were made in the Mendip area and Coleford (Gloucs) from his several encounters with Sharp and his recording pencil. Can someone provide a link to a verifiable original source of that attribution?

Re: Henry Cave’s

Among those of Henry Cave’s tunes for which there are an original transcription there are many anomalies, examples of mis-titling and also a number of untitled hornpipes that typically characterise a vernacular fiddle player’s repertoire of the period. Some of those ‘untitled’ hornpipes do of course relate to a version of a known hornpipe. But the hornpipe posted here does not correspond to any of the transcriptions I have collected. As a player (and researcher) of my regional tunes I would be fascinated to see the original transcription.

Re: Henry Cave’s

In regard to the rhythm of southern English hornpipes they tend mostly to be played with a distinct skip or swing. There is no ‘set’ single rhythmic pattern as musicians are commonly playful with reversing the ‘dotted rhythm’ long-short or short-long, mixing it up and alternating ‘dotted’ rhythm with omission. Hornpipes were in the 19th century and early 20th century the favoured tunes for step dance. The focus is the stepping.

Re: Henry Cave’s

A little research shows this tune is a generic version of the Bath Road Hornpipe. Although Henry Cave did play a tune of this title this is not it.

Re: Henry Cave’s

Rather a delayed answer. I hope you’re still reading! Sharp did indeed collect this one from Henry Cave on September 11th 1907 in Midsomer Norton. It’s number FT 1488. You’ll find the original transcription from Sharp’s notebook here: https://www.vwml.org/search?q=henry%20cave&is=1 (just scroll through the tunes). This really needs to be your starting point if you’re trying to find out about Henry Cave. You’ll find his transcriptions from Jas. Higgins and Alban Jones in the same place.

By the way, Mendipman, the Coleford in question is the one in the Mendips, not the Gloucestershire one. That error was made in a photo caption in the initial publication and is sometimes repeated.
Do you have Philip Heath-Coleman’s booklet "The Life and Times of Henry Cave of Midsomer Norton and his Father, Tom Cave"? All the tunes and biographical information are in there. It’s actually reprint of an article in the Folk Music Journal.

Our village band, the Somerset Russets, played a few of these at a workshop on the Caves in 2013 at "Mendipfest" in Emborough. We’ll be featuring some of them at our annual workshop at Priddy Folk Festival in July. The workshop theme will be tunes collected from Somerset fiddlers. There’ll be several tunes from Harry and Tom Cave, maybe something from Jas. Higgins and probably something from William Wynter.

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Re: Henry Cave’s

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I’m aware of (and use) the Vaughan Williams Library archive. If you refer back to that resource you will notice the basis for my original query. The Bath Road Hornpipe that Cecil Sharpe transcribed from Henry Cave is indeed there listed simply as one of a number titled ‘Country Dance’ an AABB structure in the key of G major, 2/4 time signature. However it differs in small but significant phrasing aspect most notably the triplet passages in the B part from the version that is posted here. My particular interest is in idiosyncrasy of regional variation and individual versions. A delightful Bath Road Hornpipe you posted above it certainly is; but with a passion for specificity and regional and individual difference I do think we need to be wary of posting a (however slightly) adapted version and titling it as THE version attributable to a particular named regional fiddler. Hair-splitting? Maybe, but my kindly-meant query is guided by a passion for care in regard to exactly that specific detail and local ‘spice’ of the music from where I was born and still live.

Re: Henry Cave’s

Coming at it from a different direction, any traditional fiddle player worth their salt would tend to play tunes differently from one performance to the next, so subtle differences don’t necessarily mean a different version or performer. Sharp noted this variation in terms of dotting notes or swinging. As you say, a given player might dot some passages and not others. The next time he was recorded, quite different passages would be dotted. (Playing the tunes today, we need to decide how to interpret that, especially as we don’t have that kind of freedom in either a band or session context.) I suspect the presence or absence of triplets is subject to the same kind of variation. Anyway, keep up the good work. So many people find it hard to believe that there was such a thing as traditional fiddle music in Somerset!

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