X:1 T:Eight Bells Hornpipe M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Hornpipe B:Coes Album of Jigs and Reels, something new, for professional and amateur violinists, B:leaders of orchestras, quadrille bands, and clog, reel and jig dancers; consisting of a B:Grand Collection of entirely New and Original Clog-Hornpipes, Reels, jigs, B:Scotch Reels, Irish Reels and Jigs, Waltzes, Walk-Arounds, etc. (1876, p. 41) N:Coes performed with the San Francisco Minstrels in California from 1852 to 1859. Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G/B/d/^c/ e/c/d/B/|G/B/d/^c/ e/c/d/B/|G/B/d/^c/ e/d/=c/B/|A/G/F/E/ D/c/B/A/| G/B/d/^c/ e/c/d/B/|G/B/d/^c/ e/c/d/B/|A/B/c/e/ d/c/B/A/|Ggg:| B|A/B/A/G/ F/A/d/c/|B/c/B/A/ G/B/e/d/|^c/d/c/B/ A/a/g/e/|d/=c/d/e/ dB| A/B/A/G/ F/A/d/c/|B/c/B/A/ G/B/e/d/|c/d/c/B/ A/a/g/e/|d/^c/d/e/ d/=c/B/A/:|]
EIGHT BELLS. AKA - "Eight Bells Hornpipe." American, Hornpipe or Reel (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Eight Bells Hornpipe" was first printed in George H. Coes Album of Jigs and Reels (1876). The title refers to both a time of day and a duty period on board a sailing ship (for example, the last Dog Watch began at eight bells in the evening, or 8PM and lasted until midnight). Coes was a blackface minstrel performer active in the San Francisco area in the 1850's. Prior to the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the early 1860's, most travelers to California took the sea route around the 'Horn' in Argentina. It was a long journey, and, while "Eight Bells" is not a Coes composition (he clearly labelled his own works) it must have reminded him of the sea journey.