Back to Oriental Hornpipe
ORIENTAL HORNPIPE. AKA and see "Boys from the East (The)." American, Hornpipe. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. There was a fashion for things oriental in the mid-19th century, based on fascination for the exotic and unknown. Trade with China and Japan was being gradually forced open by the Colonial powers and goods from the orient and home-made products in imitation of such began to appear on American streets. There was a clipper ship called the "Oriental", a name that appears in American Clipper Ships 1833-1858 by Howe and Matthews, and a distant possibility as a source for the title. However, the name Oriental was also applied to theaters and saloons where music and entertainments were performed. One of the more famous of these establishments was Frank Burns' Oriental at 650 Broadway, between Bleecker and Bond, where a piano and violin were featured (see Brooks McNamara, The New York Concert Saloon: The Devil's Own Nights, 2002, p. 43). O'Neill prints the hornpipe as "Boys from the East (The)," perhaps his private joke, a take-off on the 'Oriental' title. See also note for the "Occidental Hornpipe."
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 94. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 128.