Mock Hobby Horse

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MOCK HOBBY HORSE. AKA - "Mock Hoby-Horse," "Macabees (Les)." English, Country Dance Tune (6/4 or 6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB (Karpeles, Raven, Sharp): AABB (Barnes). The melody first appears in Henry Playford's Dancing Master [1], 10th edition (1698, p. 198), and was retained in the long-running series through the 18th and last edition of 1728. "Mock Hobby Horse" was also published by John Walsh in The Compleat Country Dancing Master, editions of 1718, 1731 and (by his son, also John Walsh) 1754. Graham Christian (2015) finds a version of the tune in Anthony Pointel's Deusiesme recoil des Dance et Contre-Dances (1688). Christian remarks: "Pointel's title for the tune, "Les Macabees," a garbled Francophone rendition of the English title, suggests that he was flummoxed by this folkloric figure [i.e. the hobby horse], but also that the tune and perhaps the dance itself, in some form, predated Playford's publication of it by at least a decade" (p. 72).

Christian also points out that a hobby horse is a representation of horse--in effect, a hobby horse is already a 'mock horse'. The extra emphasis of employing the word 'mock' in the title suggests to Christian that "the association with the lively folk custom could no longer be taken for granted," and suggests that the use of the term 'ride one's hobby horse' to refer to one's self-image or self-presentation to the world--established by the mid-18th century--had begun at the beginning of the century

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 72. Karpeles & Schofield (A Selection of 100 English Folk Dance Airs), 1951; p. 19. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 21. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 55.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Hear a guitar arrangement on youtube.org [2]




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