Boss Clog Hornpipe (The)

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BOSS CLOG HORNPIPE, THE. AKA and see "Dixon's Slide," "O'Neill's Hornpipe (2)." American, Hornpipe. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The tune was first published in Howe's 1000 Jigs and Reels (c. 1869), where it appeared in a section of tunes from Jimmy Norton, a Boston minstrel and variety fiddler known as the "Boss Jig Player." Paul Wells says "Norton is easily traced in directories from the early 1860's to the early 1890's. Often his business address was the same as Howe's" [1]. Sergeant James O'Neill would seem to have borrowed it from that volume when he contributed it to Chicago police chief Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903), in which it is titled"O'Neill's Hornpipe (2)," perhaps a tribute to James' own boss. The tune appears under the title "Dixon's Slide" in Ira Ford's Traditional Music in America (1940). Ford collected primarily in Missouri and the Mid-West but his source for "Dixon's" is unknown. It may have been learned by Ford's source from Howe's book.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1869; p. 50. Howe (Musician's Omnibus No. 6), Boston, 1880-1882; p. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1766, p. 329 (as "O'Neill's").

Recorded sources:




Back to Boss Clog Hornpipe (The)[edit]

  1. PAUL F. WELLS (2010). Elias Howe, William Bradbury Ryan, and Irish Music in Nineteenth-Century Boston. Journal of the Society for American Music, 4, p. 417.