The Attwood hornpipe

The Attwood has been added to 7 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Attwood
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(3DEF|G>FA>G B>Ac>B|d>^ce>d =c>BA>G|E>GF>A G>BA>c|(3BAG c>B A2 (3DEF|
G>FA>G B>Ac>B|d>^ce>d =c>BA>G|E>GF>A G>BA>c|B>GA>F G2||
(3def|g2 (3bag f>ge>f|d>ec>d B>cA>B|G>DB,>D G>BA>c|(3BAG c>B A2 (3def|
g2 (3bag f>ge>f|d>ec>d B>cA>B|G>DB,>D G>BA>c|B>GA>F G2||

Five comments

The Attwood Hornpipe

Another tune transcribed to abc (by me) from Kerr’s Caledonian.

There are no repeat marks in Kerr’s, so I assume that it’s meant to be played as a 16-bar hornpipe, and I’ve annotated it as such.

I gather that Kerr’s “Merry Melodies” contains a tune called “Charles Attwood”, but as I don’t have a copy of that, I don’t know whether or not it’s the same tune.

If it is the same tune, apparently it’s attributed to James Hill, a Tyneside (NE England) fiddler.

Charles Attwood

Charles Attwood (1791-1875) was the name of a well-known Victorian industrialist who was born in Shropshire but went early in life to NE England, where he worked in the glass trade on Tyneside and subsequently went in for iron- and steel-making, establishing works at Tow Law, Wolsingham and Tudhoe in County Durham.

Though I think he was preoccupied in Co. Durham after 1844, he will have coincided with James Hill on Tyneside before that date - whether or not they ever met. The tune may well be in honour of this Charles Attwood - who was additionally involved in one or two court cases publicised at the time - but I dare say this is unlikely to be conclusively proved.

Attwood Hornipe - Charles Attwood

Thanks, Nicholas - as always, you are a veritable mine of information ….

.. or maybe a Durham mine of information, in this particular case … 🙂

Charles Attwood Hp.

This is indeed the James Hill tune. It’s called “Charles Attwood”. Also played in Amaj.

Thanks, Mix - but my mining experience only extends to the Internet! In this case, the website of the small town of Tow Law, an isolated upland place which is odd even by the standards of County Durham; or anywhere, for that matter.

Charles Attwood conjured this place into existence. Obviously ambitious and clued-up, he knew there was coal just to the East and guessed there was ironstone in the hills to the West, and that he could link them up by rail. He leased wide prospecting rights in Weardale from the Bishop of Durham before others could get in first and his gamble paid off - he found plenty of iron in places, and duly set up works in Tow Law and elsewhere to which the various ingredients were railed. Their steel-making came to have a high reputation.

Another story attaching to Tow Law is that here, in 1950, in some hostelry, Ewan MacColl together with A.L.Lloyd and another folkie avatar (Lomax?) conspired to found England’s first folk club once they were back in mainstream civilisation. The rest is history.