Annotation:Hole in the Wall (2)

Find traditional instrumental music

X:1 T:Hole in the Wall [2] M:C| R:"Jig" i.e. 'Sand Jig', a banjo tune L:1/8 S:Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) K:Amin A,2 B,2 c<A z B, | (.C2.D2) E4 | A2c2 (3FGF E2 | A2c2 (3FGF E2 | A,2 B,2 c<A z B, | (.C2.D2) E4 | A>B c>d e2a2 | ^g>a b>g a2 z2 :|| (3cdc G2 (3cdc G2|(3cdc G2 c>c B>c|(3ded G2 (3ded G2|(3ded G2 d>d c>d| e2e2 (3FGF E2|e2e2 (3FGF E2|(3FGF E2 (3FGF E2|E>FE>F E>DC>B,| A,<A, z/B,/ C>A,B,>C|D<D z/E/ F>DE>F|E>^GB>c d>BG>B|A>cB>^G A>GC>B,| A,<A, z/B,/ C>A,B,>C|D<D z/E/ F>DE>F|E>^GB>c d>BG>B|A<A E>C A,2 z2|]

HOLE IN THE WALL [2]. AKA and see "Tycoon Jig." American, Dance Tune (cut time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Cole, Ryan): AABCC' (Craig). Labelled a 'jig' in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883), referring not the familiar 6/8 Irish jig but a type of syncopated old-time banjo tune often called a "straight" or "sand" jig (because it was performed on a sanded stage floor). An infamous mid-19th century American 'Hole in the Wall' tavern was located on Water street, at the corner of Dover Street, in New York City's rough-and-tumble 4th Ward (Ryan also prints a tune called the "Downfall of Water Street"). It became known in its time as the most vicious watering-hole in the city, and was only closed after seven murders were committed there in the space of less than two months. In its hey-day the Hole-in-the-Wall was run by One-Armed Charley Monell and his trusted lieutenants, Gallus Mag and Kate Flannery, but it was Mag who was the establishment's bouncer and general factorum, and a fearsome woman she is said to have been. Born in England, Mag was over six feet tall and expert with her chosen weapons: a pistol she kept stuck in her belt, and a huge bludgeon strapped to her wrist. She handily used both to keep a rather capricious order of sorts, and it was her habit to subdue any obstreperous customer first with her bludgeon, followed by clamping down with her teeth upon his ear, by which means she escorted him to the door. If he protested or struggled further, Gallus Mag bit the ear off and cast the miscreant into the street, whereupon she carefully deposited the ear in a jar of alcohol kept behind the bar, where her trophies resided a-pickle.

The Hole-in-the-Wall was the scene of a famous fight between Slobbery Jim and Patsy the Barber, both desperate men, long-time criminals, and prominent members of the feared Daybreak Gang that trolled the East River waterfront. It seemed that on one of their excursions the pair happened on a luckless German immigrant, fresh off the boat. They first bludgeoned the poor man unconscious, robbed him of his meagre savings, and threw him into the East River where he drowned. The two then repaired to the Hole-in-the-Wall to spend their spoils-all of twelve cents-but soon fell to arguing about how to divide the money. Slobbery Jim maintained that since he had hoisted the victim over the wall he should have seven, and possibly eight cents for his share. For his part, Patsy the Barber maintained it should be equally split, reasoning that it was he who had bludgeoned the German in the first place, and that if he had not so subdued their victim, there was a chance Jim might not have been able to deposit him in the water at all. Slobbery Jim countered this logic by seizing the rather prominent nose of Patsy the Barber in his teeth, with Patsy meeting this challenge with a knife thrust to Jim's ribs. It was not a fortuitous blow, however, as the knife failed to penetrate the bone cage, and the two commenced a desperate struggle on the floor of the bar for over 30 minutes in a battle royal. They were left to contend unmolested by Gallus Mag, One-Armed Charley or any other patrons, for everyone recognized this as a principled dispute and no mere brawl. Alas for the Barber, Slobbery Jim gained control over Patsy's knife and stabbed its owner with it-this time a more telling thrust to the throat--and when Patsy fell faint with loss of blood Jim delivered the coup-de-grace by stomping him to death with his hobnailed boots. Professional police-work being only an incipient art at the time, Slobbery Jim escaped and did not resurface until the Civil War, when he rose to the rank of Captain in the Confederate Army. (The above is a distillation and paraphrase of pp. 47-48 of Herbert Asbury's The Gangs of New York, originally published in 1927).

As "Tycoon Jig" the melody was printed in James Buckley's New Banjo Method (1860).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 81. Craig (The Empire Collection of Hornpipes), c. 1890's; p. 5. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, Boston, 1883; p. 115.

Recorded sources : - Fellside Recordings FECD276, Vic Gammon & Friends - "Early Scottish Ragtime" (2016).

Back to Hole in the Wall (2)

(0 votes)