Lord Cochrane

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LORD COCHRANE. English, Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCBC. The melody appears in the music manuscript copybook of John Burks, dated 1821. Nothing is known of Burks, although he may have been from the north of England. The title refers to Admiral Thomas Alexander Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831. He was an enormously successful naval captain during the Napoleonic Wars, nicknamed le loup des mers (the Sea Wolf) by the French. After the cessation of hostilities with France Cochrane found himself no longer needed by Britain's reduced military, and he sought adventure in the navies of Chile, Brazil and Greece, during those countries' wars for independence. He was reinstated in the Royal Navy in 1832 with the rank of rear admiral, though not before having to weather disgrace and scandal because of a conviction as a conspirator in the Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814. His exploits were mined by modern day naval adventure writers such as Patrick O'Brien. Burks' tune is reminiscent of (and perhaps in imitation) of a bugle call, with its interval leaps. This was a composition convention that was sometimes employed in pieces in honor of military men of the era.

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