Annotation:Butchers of Bristol (2) (The)

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X:1 T:Butchers of Bristol [2] M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel or Hornpipe B:John Rook music manuscript collection (1840, Waverton, B:near Wigton, Cumbria, p. 99) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G GABG ABcA|d2d2 cAFA|B3A A3A|GABG GFED| GABG ABcA|d2d2 cAFA|B2 AG DGFA|G2G2 G4|| gfga g2d2|gfba g2d2|f2f2 fagf|e2c2c2 dc| B2 GB A2 FA|B2 GB|A2 FA|BcdG DGFA|G2G2 G4:|]

BUTCHERS OF BRISTOL [2]. AKA and see "Bealltaine," "Buteown (2)," "Geary's Hornpipe," "Mountain Groves (The)," "Mullingar Races (2)," "Raven through the Bog," "Rover through the Bogs," "Taylor's Hornpipe," "XYZ." Irish, English; Reel (cut time). G Major (Rook): G Minor (Irwin). Standard tuning (fiddle). A reel of unknown provenance which turns up in several 19th century northern English musicians' manuscript collections set in both major and minor modes. It is contained in the large 1840 music manuscript collection of Waverton (near Wigton), Cumbria, multi-instrumentalist John Rook and in the music manuscripts of Tom Green (Northumberland), William Irwin (Lake District, Cumbria), the Winder Family[1] (Cumbria), and Roose (possibly from Manchester, mid-late 19th century).

In modern times the major mode version has been associated primarily with Irish repertory. The tune was recorded in 1930 by uilleann piper Liam Walsh (issued as "The Mountain Groves"), and separately by his student, Tommy Kearney (who called it "Butchers of Bristol") and yet again by Billy Andrews (as "The First of May"). Francis O'Neill printed a version as "Mullingar Races (2)" in his Music of Ireland (1903), although that title usually is associated with another tune.

A minor mode setting of the tune is to be found under the curious title "XYZ" in the 1831 music manuscript book of William Thomas Green (1825-1898), piper to the Duchess of Northumberland, as was his father, William Green of Morpeth (1774-1860). Researcher and Northumbrian piper Matt Seattle explains that 'XYZ' was the name of a famed racehorse, winner of the Gold Cup for four consecutive hears from 1811-1814[2]. XYZ was owned by R. Riddell esq. of Felton Park, Northumberland, and died in 1832. Green's manuscript is dated 1831, when he would have been aged 6 or 7, and contains settings of tunes suggesting the fiddle or fife, or perhaps the flute, with a dearth of pipe tunes. Quite possibly it is the work of another hand, perhaps only possessed by Green. A similar minor setting of the tune (entitled simply "Modal Hornpipe") from the north of England is contained in the c. 1830 music manuscript collection of fiddler and fiddle teacher William Irwin, Elterwater, Lake District.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - William Irwin music manuscript collection (c. 1850, Lake District) [Offord].

Printed sources : - Na Píobairí Uilleann (Ceol an Piobarie/Music of the Piper). Offord (John of the Green: Ye Cheshire Way), 1985; p. 86. Offord (Bonny Cumberland), 2018; p. 44.

Recorded sources : - Decca F2309 (78 RPM), Liam Walsh (1930. Medley: "Mountain Groves"/"Higgins Hornpipe"/"Cork Hornpipe (The)").

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  1. There is a version of the tune in the Edward Winder ms. called "Brestle Hornpipe".
  2. See Seattle's note at the FARNE site [1].