Annotation:Peacock's Fancy (1)

Find traditional instrumental music

X:1 T:Footy again the wall M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air S:John Bell music manuscript collection (c. 1812) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G f|g2e f2d|e2d B2f|g2e f2d|(B3 B2)f| g2e f2d|e2f g2e|dBG A2B|(E3 E2):| |:F|G2A B2d|c2A B2A|G2A B2d|(e3 e2)f| g2e f2d|e2f g2e|dBG A2B|(E3 E2):|]

PEACOCK'S FANCY [1]. AKA and see "Footy," “Footy Agyen The Wa'.” “Pin her against the Wall," "Pin Her against the Wall (1).” English, Jig. England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Although not originally written for the small pipes, this tune owes its celebrity with pipers to the circumstances that it was a great favourite with John Peacock and the later players. The song of 'Footy', which is sung to it, was better adapted to the tastes of a ruder age than to those of the present time[1]" (Bruce & Stokoe). John Peacock was a legendary Northumbrian piper, credited with extending the range of the instrument through the innovation of adding keys to the plain chanter. Although renowned in his time, Peacock fell on hard times toward the end of his life, and had to rely on the generosity of others in the piping community. "…Peacock (was a) celebrated Northumbrian piper, who came to Newcastle originally from Morpeth, and was perhaps the best small-pipes player who lived, although not a scientific performer. He was one of the Incorporated Company of Town Waits in Newcastle, and in 1805 in conjunction with William Wright, published a small oblong book of Tunes for the Northumbrian Small Pipes, of which only two or three copies are now known to exist" (Bruce & Stokoe). Peacock lived from 1754(or 6) to 1817 and was taught by William Lamshaw at a time when the smallpipes were just beginning to decline in popularity. The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes ("The Northern Minstrel's Budget"), which he published c. 1800.

The melody (as “Footy Agyen The Wa'”) and verses were entered into the c. 1812 music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician John Bell (1783-1864). The lyric goes:

From Benton Bank, to Benton Town,
There's not a Pitman raw;
So when ye get to the Moor Yate
Play footy again the wa'.
The hie footy, and how footy,
And footy again the wa'.
And when ye get to the Moor Yate,
Play footy again the Wa'.

The wife went down the Moor Lonnin
And let her basket fa';
For when she go the Moor Yate,
Play'd footy again the wa'.
Then hie footy, &c.--

The Stoby road's a stoby place,
And some o' the Hobs ane la',
But still there's some thats high enough,
For footy again the wa'.
The hie footy, &c.--

Wapping Square is a bonny place,
The Houses are but sma',
But in them yet there's room enough,
For footy again the wa'.
The hie footy, &c.--

The lady did not like the House,
The Ain in it was raw;
T'was sweeter far at the Moor Yate
For footy again the wa'.
Then hie footy, &c.--

Young Cuddy is a bonny lad,
And Robin's tall and sma';
But if you come to wour town end
They'll footy again the wa'.
Then hie footy and how footy,
And footy again the wa';
And when ye get to the Moor Yate,
Play footy again the wa'.

A distanced version of the tune, in duple time and entitled "Pin her again the wall," was entered into the 1874 music manuscript copybook of piper John Robson of Spithome, Northumberland:

T:Pin her again the wall
S:John Robson music manuscript collection (1874, Spithope, Northumberland)
Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
D/E/|G2B2c2B2|BABd e2f2|gfed Bdge|dcAG E3:|
|:f|gefd edcd|gefd e2f2|gefd Bd gf|dBAG E2:|

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 175. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 117.

Back to Peacock's Fancy (1)

(0 votes)

  1. The title, variously as "Footy Agyen The Wa'", "Set Her against the Wall," and "Pin Her against the Wall", crops up occasionally in England, Lowland Scotland and Ulster, although to musically unrelated tunes.