Game Cock Reel
X:1 T:Game Cock Reel M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel S:Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D FAdA BAdA|BdAF EE/E/EG| FAdA BAdA|BdAF (3DDD D2| fedc defd|geaf (3eee eg|fedc defe|dBGE (3DDD D2|| fedc defd|geaf (3eee eg|fedc defe|dBAF (3DDD D2| fedc defd|geaf (3eee ea|faef defe|dBAF (3DDD D2||
GAME COCK REEL (An Coileach Comhraic). AKA and see "Along the River Banks," "Bog Carrot (The)," "Captain Francis Wemyss," "Maid I First Courted (The)," "Those Evening Bells," "Western Lasses (The)." American, Irish; Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. A reel that apparently predates the version set as an Irish slide or single jig also called "Game Cock (1) (The)" (An Coileach Comhraic). However, both are predated by the original source, John Bowie's stratspey "Captain Francis Wemyss." A 'game cock' or 'cock of the game' was slang for a champion -- famous boxers were also known as 'game chicken' in England. Thus, the name 'Game Cock' was applied to things thought to be (or striving to be) superlative. For example, there was a clipper ship Game Cock, a name that appears in American Clipper Ships 1833-1858 by Howe and Matthews. She was an extreme/medium clipper ship built in 1850 by Samuel Hall, East Boston, and sported a figurehead carved in the likeness of a game cock with an out-stretched neck and head. She plied the seas for thirty years, until finally condemned at the Cape of Good Hope in 1880. Although it is unlikely that the tune was named after the ship, it is not impossible, for several tunes in the Elias Howe volumes (which includes Ryan's Mammoth Collection) are named after engineering or transportation accomplishments of the mid-19th century.