Hole In The Wall three-two

Also known as Beau Psaltery, The Hole In The Wall.

There are 10 recordings of this tune.

Hole In The Wall appears in 1 other tune collection.

Hole In The Wall has been added to 10 tune sets.

Hole In The Wall has been added to 100 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Hole In The Wall
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:B3c Bcd2 A2d2|G3A GAB2 F2B2|E3F EFG2 D2B2|G4- G2F2 G4:|
g3f efg2 f2e2|^d3e def2 B2f2|g3f efg2 f2e2|e4- e2^d2 e4|
E3F EFG2 FGA2|G2GA GAB2 ABc2|B3c Bcd2 D2d2|B4- B2A2 G4||

Twenty-seven comments

“Hole in the Wall”

This melody is one of those that enters your head and you can’t shake it. I haven’t played it, including for dance, in quite some time. So, I decided to revive it when we were chatting, a few of us, about 3/2 tunes. I wrote it down and then decided to check it against a slew of other transcriptions, including Playford and my own from the 70s. I had this suspicion and it was met ~ that there would be very little difference. There is a little in this transcription. What I found myself playing was note for note from Playford, if in another key, or two. With all the transcriptions I’d found, whatever key, there was very little difference, though some did not record that the A-part repeated. That repeat is in keeping with the dance of the same name…

I like the melody, despite the syrupy nature it can sometimes take or suffer. We even like the dance, though I feel a slight trepidation in admitting that. But, that appreciation and fondness does not include those bobbing yahoos that insist on doing a nod whenever and wherever they can, bow and curtsey ~ YUCK! 😏 Without the B.S. and the too prevalent Plyfordish affected pomp, it is a lovely flowing dance that with the music has a comfortable fit, like a smelly well worn old pair of tennis shoes… 😉

Playford or Purcell?

Is this from a late edition of Playford’s Dancing Master? It sounds eerily like a hornpipe from some theatrical production from the 1680s… written by Purcell or Draghi or somebody I ought to know. Memory fails me at the moment.

The Fiddler’s Companion ~ Andrew Kuntz

HOLE IN THE WALL [1], THE. English, Country Dance Tune (3/2 or 3/4 time). B Flat Major. Standard. AAB. The air was published in Playford’s Dancing Master, c. 1725. Barnes (1986) dates the melody to 1698. The melody may appear in the English composer Purcell’s Abdelazar suite. Hole-in-the-Wall is a descriptive name for many pubs and taverns, to this day, usually denoting small, perhaps cozy establishments set within a building row. Sometimes the name is more literal: Dublin’s Hole in the Wall Pub was named after an establishment that served soldiers from a nearby barracks through a hole in the wall. A famous Hole-in-the-Wall was in Kilkenny, behind High Street, and was from 1750-1850 one of Ireland’s more reknowned supper-houses, patronized by the Duke of Wellington, Sir Jonah Barrington and Henry Grattan. ~ etc…

I forgot the links for the above:


& further ~ “Playford’s title may refer to one tavern called Hole-in-the-Wall in London’s Strand, scene of the capture of one of the most famous highwaymen in England, Claude Duval, around 1670. ~”

~ not forgetting the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ of early plays, including Shakespeare, where two lovers met to share notes or words of endearment… I’ve even seen this acted, including by “The Royal Shakespearean Society” with someone acting as the wall and hole, thumb to forefinger as the ‘hole’… Speak here! 😉

Interesting tune. It’s not a three-two though 🙂

By that I mean it doesn’t have that 3/2 hornpipe bounce about it. I can imagine an elegant English dance to it though. It sounds like something you might hear played on lutes and shawms and things in a period drama.

Good guess Dow, though with you it is hardly a guess, since you have the sense of such things ~ ‘stately’ would fit both the music and the dance, but not pompous, despite it suffering such tendencies.

Nope, you are right, of course, definitely lacking the ‘bounce’, but I’d love to swing it and dance it that way, in gum shoes/welies in a muddy field in a downpour…shout-lilting the music… 😎

The Hole In The Wall

Takes me right back to 1972 or so. I’d forgotten that tune existed. It was just the sort of thing John Renbourn would have recorded, though I don’t know whether he did, or someone would have attempted with a recorder in a folk club.

“The Hole in the Wall” ~ dots and figures

Traditional & Folk Music Tune list for “The Sussex Folk Orchestra”
Another transcription in G, dots with chords suggested

H. Purcell / Playford 1698
This article appeared in volume 3 of the Letter of Dance.
The Letter of Dance, the newsletter for Renaissance and SCA Dance.
Letter: Hole in the Wall ~ & a Bb transcription, dots with chords given

Society for Creative Anachronism Dance Cheat Sheets: Hole in the Wall
Source: Playford (1695), LoD v1, TPB.

“A perennial SCA favorite: hated by musicians, demanded by dancers, used to raise money at Pennsic, with the musicians willing to pay to avoid playing it.”

Palmer’s Pocket Playford: The Hole in the Wall ~ dance outline

“Hole in the Wall” ~ an attempt at describing the dance without the flurries 😏

Formation: Longways set for as many as will,
duple improper (groups of 4, two couples, all couples with man on left / woman on right)
numbered 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 ~ etc., down the length of the set (referred by some, wrongly in this case, as active & inactive couples, or Ones & Twos…)

~ M1W2 M1W2 M1W2 M1W2 M1W2 ~ bottom / below / down / foot
~ W1M2 W1M2 W1M2 W1M2 W1M2

1 - 2 ~ 1st couple cast out and down around and 2nd couple
3 - 4 ~ then lead up the middle between 2nd couple, returning to place
1 - 4 ~ 2nd couple repeat same ~ casting up and around 1st couple,
then lead down between 1st, returning to place
1 - 2 ~ 1st man & 2nd woman exchange places (1st corners)
3 - 4 ~ 2nd man & 1st woman same (2nd corners)
5 - 6 ~ The same two couples take hands-4 and circle halfway round CW, returning to places.
7 - 8 ~ 1st couple cast down / 2nd couple leads up the the middle, exchanging place = the progression

Duple (4) Minor (progressing one place) ~ In groups of 4, two couples, down the set, the two couples dance together once through the figures and music and at the end of that progress one place, couples-1 down and couples-2 up the longways set, to face a new couple to repeat the dance with. With each repeat 1s move down one place till reaching the foot, 2s move up one place till reaching the head of the set… Once reaching the top or the foot of the set, that couple waits once through the dance before re-entering the dancing, at the head 2 comes back in as 1 and at the foot 1 comes back in as 2.

“Hole in the Wall” ~ attributed to Henry Purcell

~ and supposedly taken at a bit more of a clip than usually played for this dance… YEEHA!!! 😉

Hole in the Wal

I first heard the tune played by Dave Swarbrick on one of his records, but I forget which (it’s upstairs in the attic if you have to know). A glorious tune!

Hole in the Wall

It’s on the compilation (Swarb 1 & 2) - I knew I’d heard it soemwhere - but as you say, it doesn’t say “3/2 HP” to me when I hear it.

Ah, sweet mystery of treble, as if it could be limited by our preconceptions… Don’t fall into the same trap as some bozos, and even those you’d expect knew better, to think that all 3/4 are waltzes, or that mazurkas, varsouviennes and waltzes are all the same species. No, unlike Dow, I’m not discounting marches or what the likes of O’Carolan did with 3/4…

However ~ heh, heh, heh… I have been screwing around with this one and pushing the bits about to see what it might do as a 3/2 hornpipe… 😎

Other not really 3/2’s from the Playford stable.

Mr Isaac’s Maggot
Seige of Limerick
Mr Englefield’s New Hornpipe
Sion House
The Hare’s Maggot (played for the dance ‘Up with Aily’)
Dick’s Maggot - already in the Session but incorrectly transposed,

Mr Beveridge’s Maggot
Whimbledon House
Booth’s Hornpipe
St.Margaret’s Hall
The Beau’s Retreat

There may well be others that I do not have. No doubt someone has already researched the subject of 3/2’s but It would be worthwhile trying these tunes and comparing them with the more common examples of 3/2’s to see if there is evidence of subtle changes indicating a progressive development from one to the other. I’m also intrigued by the Swedish Polska’s (also 3/2). anyone got any thoughs? How about the maestro - ‘c’??

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Polskas!!! ~ he says drooling…and Slangpolskas…and ~ the signs of a trebled mind… 😎

Yes, there are others… Playford wasn’t the only one gathering peascods…

By the way, nice list hetty… 😀

Thanks ‘c’ They are from my own handwritten collection over many years but I haven’t yet looked up any printed collections.
“Seige of Limerick” interests me a bit. Nice tune, a bit tricky on B/C/C# but easy on PA. It’s the Irish title that intrigues and I wonder of it’s significance. Research is required I think.

Posted by .

SIEGE OF LIMERICK. English, Country Dance Tune (3/2 time). D Minor. Standard. AB. The tune dates to the year 1691 when William of Orange invaded Ireland and defeated the native Irish forces. Limerick, an ancient city on the Shannon, was the last bastion of the Jacobite rebels, held by the Earl of Lucan (Patrick Sarsfield) who had broken a siege of the same city by the English the year before. This time, however, the English under General Godert de Ginkel (later the Earl of Athlone) prevailed. The city capitulated, but on terms, and Sarsfield and the Irish were given the choice of taking an oath of allegiance to William and Mary or exile. Many chose exile, to be called the Wild Geese. The melody appears in Playford. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909/1994; pg. 69.


T:Seige of Limerick



S:Sharp – Country Dance Tunes (1909)

Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion

K:D Minor

d3e f2d2 a4 | e3f g2 ^c2 f4 | =B3d ^c2 e2 de f2 | A2 d4 ^c2 d4 |

d3e f2d2 a4 | e3f g2c2 f4 | =B3d ^c2e2 de f2 | A2 d4 ^c2 d4 ||

(c3d) cB A2 AB c2 | (d3e) de f2 ef g2 | a2 f4 c2e2 cB | AB c4 e2 f4 |

a3b a2f2 d4 | g3a g2e2 ^c4 | f3g f2d2 =B2e2 | ^c2 A4 c2 d4 |

a3b a2f2 d4 | g3a g2e2 ^c4 | f3g f2d2 =B2e2 | ^c2 A4 c2 d4 ||

Guess I’ll have to submit the tune separately now.

Posted by .

Hole in the Wall - not really a 3/2

I borrowed a book from a friend last night, it’s entitled ‘John of the Greeny Cheshire Way, The Famous “Double” Hornpipes of Lancashire & Cheshire’, published 1985. There are 60 pages of 3/2’s as well as 9/4’s. “Hole in the Wall” is on page 13 so was researched by the compiler of the book (one John Offard) to be a 3/2.

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Hole in the Wall

I’ve an lp of the Yetties playing it

Hole in the wall

The Telemann Society produced some Playford records in the Sixties with Richard and Theodora Schultz and a small orchestra. Hole in the Wall is played there in settings by both Schultz and Purcell. Very stately, and not at all like a waltz. I have remembered this tune for forty years. Alongside were Daphne, Jenny Pluck Pears, Princess Royal(four variants) and several maggots. Wish I could find that old vinyl.

It’s not a waltz, check the time signature! It’s not 3/4! You have my interest, thanks, I’ll have to see if I can chase up a listen of that.

the Telemann Society and Playford, actually, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t own it. I’ll have to knock the dust off and check our LPs. After giving our lovely inline turntable away, and we gave away our Victrola too 🙁 ~ years back ~ we haven’t yet decided on what setup to go for, but ~ time is drawing near. I’d better decide so I at least get some pleasure out of it before this clay dissolves… 😉 Recommendations are welcome, but NOT any of those analog to digital all-in-one setups. Turntables currently in the running include British made Rega, and from North America VPI. But as to phono stages? 😏