Constitution Hornpipe (1)
X:1 T:Constitution Hornpipe  M:C L:1/8 R:Hornpipe B:Howe – Musician’s Omnibus (1863, p. 45) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:F (3cde|f2f2 fcaf|g2g2 gcbg|agfe dcba|gfga gcde| f2f2 fcaf|g2g2 gcbg|agfe dbge|f2f2f2:| |:c2|Acfc afcA|Bdfd bfdB|cege bgeg|fagf edcB| Acfc afcA|Bdfd bfdf|cege bgeg|f2f2f2:|
CONSTITUTION HORNPIPE . AKA and see "Cultivateur (Le)," "Flat Boat," "Lone Appendicitis." American, Canadian; Hornpipe or Reel. USA, New England, Nebraska. Canada, Cape Breton Nova Scotia. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AA'BB' (Kerr). The tune was perhaps named for the American naval vessel The Constitution, of the War of 1812 fame. The square-rigged ship still exists and is on display in Boston harbor.
R.P. Christeson (1973) says the original version, as published in older tune books, is more difficult to play than the one he collected in the Midwest, and Bayard's (1981) Pennsylvania source also thought the tune strenuous, saying "If you think that's not hard to play, just try it!" Boston publisher Elias Howe printed the tune as "Flat Boat" in his Musician's Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7 (1880-1882), transposed to the key of B Flat. The first strain is also the same as "Jinrikisha Hornpipe" in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883, also Cole's, 1940, p. 93), and, in simplified form, Gale Huntington's William Litten's Tune Book, 3rd tune on his p. 23.
The melody was adapted by French-Canadian fiddlers and recorded several times in the 78 RPM era under the titles "Cultivateur (Le)/Reel du cultivateur" and "Reel Montmorency," set variously in the keys of 'C' and 'D'.
The first strain shares some melodic material with the first strain of Frank Roche's "Black Horse (1)," and also with Ira Ford's "Exhibition March No. 1." See also the similar "Golden Wreath Hornpipe", also printed in Ryan's Mammoth.