Cuckold Come Out Of The Amrey
The 1st part of this tune is similar to a Scottish tune called Struan Robertson’s Rant https://thesession.org/tunes/4043, and so it is thought to be descended from it, but that’s as far as it goes. It’s not the same tune.
This is not a polka, but a Northumbrian pipe march which is often played as a set of variations with lots and lots of parts. These variations differ in terms of the material contained in them and also the order in which they appear, depending on the source manuscript, but the 1st 2 parts seem to be consistent in all versions of the tune. I’ll post the full version when I’ve finished typing it out - it’ll take me a while!
"Cuckold" is a word you don’t hear very often http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuckold, and "amrey" is a now obsolete term for "cupboard" from the French "armoire". Apparently it survived until recently as a dialect word in Northern England - see this page for more info http://www.dsl.ac.uk/dsl/getent4.php?plen=6693&startset=1078250&query=AUMRY&fhit=Ry&dregion=form&dtext=snd. I’m not sure if "amrey" is meant in its literal sense or not, but if not, maybe a more modern way of saying this would be "…come out of the closet".
This is often transcribed in 4/4, but I’ve chosen to do it in 2/4 because I find it easier to read that way, and with a few changes it has potential to be changed into a polka.
Here is a long version transcribed from a recording:
T: Cuckold Come Out Of The Amrey
S: Various ns pipes recordings (Spirit Of The Border & Wind In The Reeds)
A/B/c/A/ cd|e>d eg|GG B>c|d/B/A/G/ B/c/d/B/|
A/B/c/A/ cd|e>d eg|dc/B/ gB|A2 e2:|
|:g>e cg|ec e/f/g/e/|d/c/B/A/ Gd|BG B/c/d/B/|
g/f/e/d/ c/d/e/f/|gc e/f/g/e/|dc/B/ gB|A2 e2:|
|:A/B/c/A/ c/d/e/c/|e/f/g/e/ c/d/e/c/|G/A/B/G/ B/c/d/B/|d/B/A/G/ B/c/d/B/|
A/B/c/A/ c/d/e/c/|e/f/g/e/ c/d/e/c/|dc/B/ gB|A2 e2:|
|:g/f/e/f/ g/f/e/f/|g/f/e/d/ c/d/e/c/|d/c/B/c/ d/c/B/c/|d/c/B/A/ G/A/B/G/|
g/f/e/f/ g/f/e/f/|g/f/e/d/ c/d/e/c/|dc/B/ gB|A2 e2:|
|:c/e/g/e/ c/e/g/e/|c/e/g/e/ c/e/g/e/|B/d/g/d/ B/d/g/d/|B/d/g/d/ B/d/g/d/|
c/e/g/e/ c/e/g/e/|c/e/g/e/ c/e/g/e/|B/d/g/d/ gB|A2 e2:|
|:Ae/d/ ce/d/|Ae/d/ ce/d/|Ge/d/ Be/d/|Ge/d/ Be/d/|
Ae/d/ ce/d/|Ae/d/ cd/c/|B/c/d/B/ gB|A2 e2:|
|:gc eg|ce/f/ gc|gB dg|GB/c/ de/f/|
gc eg|ce/f/ gc|dc/B/ gB|A2 a2:|
The full variation set as appears in the Peacock manuscript. I think in the Peacock version there is an extra part inserted between parts 4 & 5, making 8 parts in total. Session.org member Chris Ormston plays it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYA_fKuBTaw:
|:e/c/A/c/ e/c/A/c/|e/c/A/c/ e/c/A/c/|d/B/G/B/ d/B/G/B/|d/B/G/B/ d/B/G/B/|
e/c/A/c/ e/c/A/c/|e/c/A/c/ e/c/A/c/|dc/B/ gB|A2 e2:|
Sorry the version I transcribed from the recording doesn’t have that octave leap at the end A2a2.
The Angels play this very fast as part of a big set for the Riverside which is our usual closing dance.
Like the Border Directors, we takle it at speed and you need to play very cleanly and clearly to articulate all the notes individually "like peas coming out of a pod".
A Hollywood appearance…
also on the Master and Commander soundtrack, it appears in a few different forms, as a stand alone and as part of other compositions. Great tune, and one I’ve been meaning to get around to!
Great tune that. I know the Kathryn Tickell version (or one of them?). Thanks for posting the YouTube video - shows how brilliant the tune sounds unaccompanied.
Yes, a lovely tune… I’d love to hear your take on it Noel. For the dance, what tempo do you take it at? So Mr. McDonnell, are you going to add a transcript too?
I always thought that the title referred to a cuckolded husband springing out of the wardrobe to surprise his wife and her lover in flagrante.
We were trying to learn this tune recently and kept finding ourselves playing "Lanigan’s Ball" (https://thesession.org/tunes/264). It’s pretty similar, isn’t it? Rhythm’s completely different of course.
Cuckold Come Out Of The Amrey - extended version on the Master and Commander CD
The set of additional variations on this tune, as performed on the Master and Commander CD are copyrighted by Matt Seattle. See his explanation here; http://www.dragonflymusic.co.uk/sheetmusic01.html
The set is now incorporated in his book of compositions, Ower the Dunion. Well worth buying this book.
Re: Cuckold Come Out Of The Amrey
It makes a lot more musical sense to me played in Am rather than Ador. I know it’s in Peacock as Ador but those F#s sound strange, especially in the even numbered parts. Maybe it’s because I’m used to hearing it in Bm on Border pipes.