Pippingo Reel (The)

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PIPPINGO REEL, THE. Scottish; Jig (6/8 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of this tune in print in Ayrshire fiddler-composer John Riddell's (1718-95) Collection of Scots Reels, Minuets etc. (p. 37) first published c. 1766 and, in an improved 2nd edition, in 1782. It also was published in London in Goulding's Twenty-four Country Dances for the Year 1789 (p. 12).

The archers of Kilwinning, Ayrshire, have an ancient tradition of competing for the prize of a silver arrow, deriving from the old musters in which the local gentry would gather armed men to demonstrate their readiness and fitness for battle. The competition was to hit the papingo--the old word for a parrot--a stuffed bird target situated on top of a pole that sat upon the town's abbey tower, more than 100 ft. in the air. The contest was won by the archer that, shooting from the ground, could knock the bird from the pole.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Knowles (Northern Frisk), 1988; No. 37. Riddell (Collection of Scots Reels, Minuets &c.), 1782; p. 37.

Recorded sources: Harbourtown Records HARCD 021, Brian Peters - "The Seeds of Time" (1992).




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