Back to Mazeppa
MAZEPPA HORNPIPE. American, Hornpipe. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Can be used as a Clog," notes Ryan. Compare also the first strain of "Mazeppa" with the second strains of "Bashful Bachelor (2) (The) and "Bashful Bachelor (3)."
The hornpipe's title is taken from the name of a poem published in 1819 by Lord Byron, based on the true story of a Polish noble of the same name, as told in Voltaire's History of Charles XII King of Sweden. Mazeppa had the poor judgment to have an affair with another Polish noble's wife, and the ill-luck to be found out. He was tied naked on the back of a wild horse and let loose to roam until starvation and exposure took him. Half-alive, he wandered into the Ukraine, where he was nursed by some peasants, and over the years he rose as a war-lord of the Cossacks in their struggles against the Tartars. Such was his success that the tsar was forced to make him a prince of the land. Byron, it is said, despised his handwriting, and imposed upon the wife of his friend, Percy B. Shelley, during a visit, to transcribe the final manuscript. The wife, Mary Shelley, went on to author Frankenstein.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 105. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 141.