Hobble the Boutches

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X:1 T:Hoble the Butches M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:Elias Howe – Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7 (Boston, 1880-1882, p. 628) B: http://ks4.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg/c/c7/IMSLP601433-PMLP562790-ONeill_Rare_Medium_M40_M8_v6.7_text.pdf Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C c2 GE c2 GE|Dedc BGAB|cded cBcA|GcBG GcGE| c2 GE c2 GE|Dedc BGAB|cded cBcA|GAGE Gc c2:| |:g2 eg cgeg|a2 fa dafa|g2 eg cgeg|fagf ec c2| g2 eg cgeg|a2 fa dafa|gfed cBcA|Gagf edcB!D.C.!||



HOBBLE THE BOUTCHES. AKA and see "Butcher's Apron (The)", "Delvin House (1)," "Warm Broth." Irish, Reel. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The reel was printed by Boston music publisher Elias Howe as "Hoble the Butches" in his Musician's Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7 (1880-1882), which appeared (with a spelling variant/correction) in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) a year or two later. Francis O'Neill (1903) printed the tune as "Butcher's Apron (The)," although both melodies appear to be a variant of the older Scottish strathspey "Delvin House (1)." The 'hobble the boutches' title is curious (no matter how its spelled), but perhaps 'boutches' is a variant or mishearing of 'butchers',(or vice-versa), as either Francis or James O'Neill perhaps thought with the title in Music of Ireland (1903) (There is no evidence the "Butcher's Apron" title is older than O'Neill). An old Scots dialect dictionary gives hobble the meaning "to dandle on the knee"[1], which does not seem to advance the meaning of the title.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 40. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882, p. 628. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 66.

Recorded sources : - Drumlin Records BMNCD2, Brian McNamara - "Fort of the Jewels" (2004. Learned from the manuscripts of the Reilly family of Drumreilly, County Leitrim, where this tune appears).

See also listing at :
Comhaltas archive [1]
thesession.org [2]



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  1. Robert Motherby, Pocket Dictionary of The Scottish Idiom in which the signification of the words is given in English and German, Konigsberg, 1826.