Rights of Man

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X:1 % T:Rights of Man Hornpipe, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Hornpipe B:Milne – Middleton’s Selection of Strathspeys, Reels &c. for the Violin (1870, p. 42) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Emin (GA)|B>cA>G G>AF>G|E>FG>A B2 (ef)|g>fg>f e>dc>B|c>BA>G A2 (GA)| (3BcB (3ABA (3GAG (3FGF|E>FG>A B2 (ef)|g>fe>d B>gf>g|e2E2E2:| |:(ga)|b>gb>g e>fg>e|B>eg>e b>eg>e|{e}d>^cd>e d>ef>g|a>gf>e d>ef>d| e>Af>A g>Aa>A|g>ba>g f>ag>f|g>fe>d B>gf>g|e2 [A,2E2][A,2E2]:|]



RIGHTS OF MAN (Ceart na cine daona). Irish, Scottish, English; Hornpipe. E Aeolian (Em) {most settings}: D Minor {Williamson}. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (S. Johnson, Moylan): AABB (most settings): AA’BB’ (Cranford, Kerr, O’Malley). Williamson (1976) says the tune was popular in both Scotland and Ireland, although Hunter (1979) believes it was Irish in origin. Francis O'Neill maintained "it was distinctly Irish in tone and structure." The Northumbrian composer and fiddler James Hill (who was born just across the border in Scotland) is sometimes credited as having composed the tune, apparently on the strength of one assignation to him in an older collection; it remains doubtful he is the composer. Tom Paine's (1737-1809) book, The Rights of Man, was written to refute Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, and sold a phenomenal (for the time) 200,000 copies in England while causing a furor for its support of the revolution. Paine was burned in effigy on English village greens, and his book was consigned to the flames. The printer who published the book was arrested and a Royal proclamation prohibited the sale of the book, though it continued to enjoy a wide underground circulation, particularly in Scotland and Ireland where it gave support to those who found themselves oppressed. Influenced by Paine’s work, a later document called "Declaration des droits de l'homme" was drafted by the first National Assembly during the French Revolution of 1789 to be incorporated into the new constitution of France. The next year the constitution was approved by the captive Bourbon king, Louis XVI, although he was executed soon afterward.

Francis O’Neill, the great late 19th/early 20th century Irish collector and musicologist, remarked on the tune in his work Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby (1910, p. 115), and remembered that, when first introduced to Chicago Irish musicians at the middle of the first decade of the 20th century, “Rights of Man” was thought to be a new composition which had recently gained currency in Ireland, as it was not in the repertoire of any Irish musicians then playing in that city (though O’Neill’s collaborator, Sergeant James O’Neill, recalled a version had been played by his father in Belfast some decades prior). O’Neill included the tune in his 1907 work Dance Music of Ireland, as O'Neill obtained it too late to be included in his Music of Ireland (1903). “A florid setting of this favourite,” states O’Neill, “was played by Mrs. Kenny, a noted violinist of Dublin, was brought to Chicago by Bernie O’Donovan, the ‘Carberry Piper’, but in that style it gains no advantage for the dancer” (See "Mrs. Kenny's Barn Dance" for more on Kenny). Collector P.W. Joyce (1827-1914) had two settings in Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909), as untitled hornpipes.

Perhaps the earliest sound recording of the tune was in January, 1910, by the Scottish melodeon player Frederick James (Fred) Cemeron, for the Gramaphone Company in London. Cameron was a tailor by trade, who was a popular musician for local weddings, Harvest Homes, concerts and dance halls before World War I. Like so many of his generation, he enlisted in the army, and (like so many!) was badly wounded in the war with an arm so badly damaged it had to be amputated. It put an end to his melodeon playing, however, when he recovered the undaunted Cameron taught himself to play the cornet. He died in 1949.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Sligo-style fiddler Paddy Reynolds [DeMarco & Krassen]; Mr. Matthew Archdeacon, National School, Banteer Co. Cork, 1875 [Joyce]; accordion player Johnny O’Leary (Sliabh Luachra region, Kerry), recorded in recital at Na Píobairí Uilleann, February, 1981 [Moylan]; Winston Fitzgerald (1914-1987, Cape Breton) [Cranford]; set dance music recorded live at Na Píobairí Uilleann, mid-1980’s [Taylor].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 230. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 290, p. 163 (arranged by John Rea). Ceol, vol. V, No. 1. Cranford (Winston Fitzgerald), 1997; No. 41, p. 15. DeMarco & Krassen (Trip to Sligo), 1978; pp. 33, 47, & 61. Honeyman (Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor), 1898; p. 42 (3 versions notated in Honeyman's three hornpipe styles--'Sand Dance', 'Sailor's', and 'Newcastle'). Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 328. S. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 4: Collection of Fine Airs), 1983 (revised 1991, 2001); p. 16. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Song), 1909; No. 221 & 294, pp. 107 (No. 294 is simply labled “Hornpipe”). Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 4), c. 1880’s; No. 292, p. 31. Laybourn (Köhler’s Violin Repository, Book One), 1881; p. 9. Lerwick (Kilted Fiddler), 1985; p. 55. Mallinson (100 Enduring), 1995; No. 80, p. 33. Martin & Hughes (Ho-ro-gheallaidh), 1990; p. 40. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 18. McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), c. 1920’s, No. 86, p. 22. Miller (Fiddler’s Throne), 2004; No. 306, p. 181. Milne (Middleton’s Selection of Strathspeys, Reels &c. for the Violin), 1870; p. 42. Moylan (Johnny O’Leary of Sliabh Luachra), 1994; No. 30, pp. 18-19. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 11, p. 91. O’Malley (Luke O’Malley Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 134, p. 67. O'Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 306, p. 152. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 811, p. 141. Peoples (Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1986; 27. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 2), 1912; No. 202, p. 7. Skinner (Harp and Claymore), 1904; p. 145. Spadaro ('10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 42. Taylor (Music for the Sets: Yellow Book), 1995; p. 19. Treoir, vol. 35, No. 2, 2003; p. 23. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, Book Two), 1999; p. 13. Welling (Hartford Tunebook), 1976; p. 24. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 59.

Recorded sources : - Breton Books and Records BOC 1HO, Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald - “Classic Cuts” (reissue of Celtic Records CX 59). Cameo 463 (78 RPM), Charles McDonough (1923). Claddagh 20, The Chieftains - "Bonapart's Retreat." Columbia DB 4122 (78 RPM), Leo Rowesome (1926). Copely Records 9-115 (78 RPM), Paddy Cronin (1950). Crown 3417-A (78 RPM), William Quinn (1932. Accordion solo). Flying Fish 051, "Ken Bloom." Front Hall 01, Fennigs All Stars - "The Hammered Dulcimer.” Globestyle Irish CDORBD 085, Padraig O’Keeffe - “The Rushy Mountain” (1994. Reissue of Topic recordings). Gourd Music 110, Barry Phillips and Friends – “The World Turned Upside Down” (1992). Green Linnet SIF3040, De Dannan - "Ballroom" (1987). Island ILPS9432, The Chieftains - "Bonaparte's Retreat" (1976). Living Folk LFR-104, Alan Block - "Alive and Well and Fiddling.” Regal Zonophone MR 682 (78 RPM), The Flanagan Brothers." Shanachie 34014, James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien & Daithi Sproule – “Traditional Music of Ireland” (1995). Shanachie 34016, Joe Burke, Andy Mc Gann and Felix Dolan – “The Funny Reel” (1995). Sonet 764, Dave Swarbrick and Friends - "The Ceilidh Album." Topic 12T309, Padraig O’Keeffe, Denis Murphy, Julia Clifford - “Kerry Fiddles.”

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng’s Irishtune.info [3]
Hear the 1928 recording of Jim McGrath's Band playing the hornpipe at the Internet Archive [4]
Hear Paddy Cronin's 1950 recording at the Internet Archive [5]
Hear accordion player William Quinn's 1932 solo recording [6]



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