Liverpool Hornpipe (1)
X:1 T:Liverpool Hornpipe , The M:C L:1/8 R:Hornpipe B:Alexander – “Alexander’s Fifty New Scotch & Irish Reels & Hornpipes” (c. 1826, No. 26, p. 13) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D AG|FDFA dfaf|gfed dcBA|GBGB FAFA|EFGA GFED| FDFA dfaf|gfed dcBA|fgaf gedc|d2d2d2:| |:A2|dfdf cece|BcdB BAGF|GBGB FAFA|EFGA GFED| FDFA dfaf|gfge dcBA|fgaf gedc|d2d2d2:|]
LIVERPOOL HORNPIPE , THE (Crannciuil Liberpuil). AKA and see "Gigue du vieux fermier," "Grove (1) (The)," "London Hornpipe (5)," "Louisville Hornpipe," "Brilliancy" (Christeson), "Processional Morris (1)" (Mellor), "Reel des régates." English, Scottish, Irish, Canadian, American; Hornpipe. USA; Maine, Massachusetts, New York, southwestern Pa., Texas, Arkansas, Missouri. Ireland; Sliabh Luachra region of the Cork-Kerry border. England; Shropshire, Lincolnshire. Canada; Cape Breton. D Major (most versions): G Major (Lees). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Hardie): AABB (most versions): AA'BB' (Moylan): AABBCC (O'Neill/1915, 1001 & 1850). The Irish musicologist Father Henebry criticized this piece for its "purposeless vapidity," although it has been printed endlessly in collections since the mid-19th century and has been quite popular with fiddlers and fifers. Caoimhin Mac Aoidh also says it is generally considered a fiddler's tune in Ireland and points to the many versions recorded by both Sligo and Donegal masters. The title appears in a list of tunes in his repertoire brought by Philip Goodman, the last professional and traditional piper in Farney, Louth, to the Feis Ceoil in Belfast in 1898 (Breathnach, 1997). "Liverpool Hornpipe" was entered into the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork uillean piper and Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman, and also entered into Book 3 of the large c. 1883 music manuscript collection of County Leitrim musician and piper Stephen Grier.
A minor-key variant collected in Wales appears as "Processional Morris (1)." The earliest version I have yet to find is in the 1823–26 music manuscript collection of Joshua Gibbons, a papermaker and musician from the village of Tealby, near Market Rasen, in the Lincolnshire Wolds, where it appears under the title "London Hornpipe (5)." Shropshire musician John Moore included "Liverpool Hornpipe" in his c. 1837-40 music manuscript collection, and in the north west of England, multi-instrumentalist John Rook (Waverton, Cumbria) entered it in his large 1840 music manuscript collection (also as "Liverpool Hornpipe"). Scottish dancers perform a step-dance to the melody, also called the Liverpool Hornpipe. In America the piece was cited as having been commonly played at Orange County, New York, country dances in the 1930's (Lettie Osborn, New York Folklore Quarterly). The title also appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountains fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954, and in a list of the repertoire of elderly Maine musician Mellie Dunham, Henry Ford's champion fiddler in the mid-1920's. For more on this tune in the Missouri tradition (in which it was popular) see note for "Thunder Hornpipe." See also the south west Pennsylvania collected "Tiddle Took Tidfish," whose first part is a variant of "Liverpool Hornpipe's" second part.
The tune is mentioned in mid-19th century journalist Henry Mayhew's remarkable and sympathetic series of interviews with the poor in Victorian England, contained in his book London Labour and the London Poor. Street organ players were common in London, eking out a living playing selections for a few coins:
There is two ‘Liverpool Hornpipe’. I know one these twenty years. Then com ‘The Ratcatcher’s Daughter’; he is a English song. It’s get a little old; but when it’s first come out the poor people do like it, but the gentlemens they like more the opera, you know. After that is what you call ‘Minnie’, another English song. He is middling popular. He is not one of the new tune, but they do like it. The next one is a Scotch contre-danse. It is good tunes, but I don’t know the name of it. The next one is, I think, a polka; but I think he’s made from part of ‘Scotische’. There is two or three tunes belongs to the ‘Scotische’. The next one is, I think, a valtz of Vienna. I don’t know which one, but I say to the organman, ‘I want a valtz of Vienna’; and he say, ‘Which one? Because there is plenty of valtz of Vienna’. Of course, there is nine of them. After the opera music, the valtz and the polka is the best music in the organ…It won’t do to have all opera music in my organ. You must have some opera tunes for the gentlemen, and some for the poor people, and they like the dancing tune. Dere is some for the gentlemens and some for the poor peoples.
See also Montreal fiddler Jospeh Allard's "Reel des régates" and "Gigue du vieux fermier," both versions of "Liverpool Hornpipe (1)" and both recorded (at different time) for Victor records in the year 1933.
- Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, London, 1861, p. 176.