Annotation:Cage (The)

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X:1 T:Cadge [sic], The M:4/4 L:1/8 R:Hornpipe S:William Hall Lister/Robert Lister manuscript (c. 1840-1860), East Boldon, S:Northumberland Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A AB|cBdc BAcB|A2E2E2FG|AGBA cBdc|BABc B2AB| cBdc BAcB|A2E2E2FG|AGBA FdBG|B2A2A2:| |:eg|aAce agba|gfag fagf|eEGB e^dfe|=dced c2ed| cBdc BAcB|AGBA GFED|CEAd cBAG|B2A2A2:||

CAGE, THE. English, Hornpipe. G Major (Callaghan): A Major (Dixon/Hill). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The composition is credited to 19th century Tyneside, Newcastle, fiddler James Hill (c. 1815-c. 1860) in Kohler's Violin Repository (Edinburgh, 1881-1885). The title is perhaps the name of a pub, as Hill titled many of his tunes after such establishments. Pete Loud voices the idea that 'The Cage' refers to the enclosed platform that is used to lower coal-miners into the pit. Hill, about whom little is definitively known, was born in Scotland, but lived most of his life in Gateshead, Northumberland. He was known as the 'Paganini of the hornpipe' for his many famous hornpipe compositions and appears to have been a popular tavern fiddler. He may also have been a sometime publican, and he appears to have been a sports enthusiast. "The Cage" is usually played in the key of 'A', the key it was composed in. The tune found its way into a few Northumbrian musicians' manuscripts, such as that of John Baty (Bethel, Northumberland) of around 1840-1860, William Hall Lister/Robert Lister (East Boldon, Northumberland, near Newcastle) from the same time period as Baty, and the later John Robson manuscript (1874).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 14. Dixon (The Lads Like Beer: Fiddle Music of James Hill), 1987. Köhlers’ Violin Repository, Part One, 1881-1885; p. 87.

Recorded sources : - Old Bridge Music OBMCD 04, Tom McConville - "Fiddler's Fancy."

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