Sir Sidney Smith March

From The Traditional Tune Archive
Jump to: navigation, search


X:1 T:Sir Sydney Smith’s March C: James Hook M:2/4 L:1/8 K:G B/c/|dd dd|ed cB|d/c/B/c/ Ad/c/|B/c/A/B/ Gd/c/| B/d/B/d/ A/d/A/d/|G/d/G/d/ G/F/d/c/|G/c/d/e/ d^c|d3:| |:A/G/|F/D/F/A/ d/A/B/c/|B2 Bd/c/|B/G/B/d/ g/d/e/=f/|(e2 eg/f/| e/g/e/g/ d/g/d/g/|c/g/c/g/ B/g/B/g/|e/g/e/g/ d/g/d/g/|c/g/c/g/ B/g/B/g/| ed cB|ed cB|ed cB|BA AB/c/|dd dd|ed cB|d/c/B/c/ Ad/c/| B/c/A/B/ Gd/c/|B/d/B/d/ A/d/A/d/|G/d/G/d/ F/d/F/d/|E/d/E/d/ F/d/F/d/| G/d/G/d/ A/d/A/d/|E/d/E/d/ F/d/F/d/|G/d/G/d/ A/d/A/d/|c/e/d/c/ BA|(G2 G):|


Played by Chris Ormston, ...as played in duet by Henry & Tom Clough.
'Young' Tom Clough wanted to perform this wth him, but became ill and sadly died before them had a chance to record it. Chris plays Tom Clough's pipes now, so the tradition lives!

Origin: SoundCloud











Sir William Sidney Smith (1764-1840), Admiral

SIR SYDNEY SMITH MARCH. AKA – “Handel’s Gavotte.” English, March. G Major. Standard tuning. AABB. Composed by James Hook (1746-1827), an organist and composer originally from Norwich (see also “Lass of Richmond Hill (The)”). The march is associated with Northumberland musicians and is often regarded as traditional. Hook was born in Maddermarket, Norwich, England, and had a club foot, as a result of which he was known as ‘The Cripple of Maddermarket’, but he showed prodigious talent at a very early age, writing his first ballad opera at age eight. He was appointed organist at the Vauxhall pleasure gardens and later (in 1769) organist and composer at the Marylebone Gardens. His music was immensely popular, and he was much admired for his talent, generosity and jovial manner. Unfortunately later in life, after the death of his wife, he went into decline and became withdrawn and depressed, dying in Boulogne, France, in poverty.

Sir William Sidney Smith (1764-1840) was a British admiral and naval hero during the Napoleonic Wars, especially remembered for his defense of Acre against Napoleon in 1799. Smith apparently liked to think of himself as a second (Horatio) Nelson, and in fact he was instrumental along with that more famous admiral in ending Bonaparte’s dreams of eastern conquest. It is unfortunate that while Nelson became a national hero of immense proportions, Smith remains all but forgotten. There was a rivalry between the two, as well as friendship, and Smith hoped to snatch Nelson’s laurels by destroying the combined French and Spanish fleets with newly invented rockets and torpedoes before Nelson fought the enemy decisively at sea off Cape Trafalgar in 1806.

Sir Sidney led a colorful life. An adventurer as was as strategist and naval expert, he had been imprisoned as a spy in Paris, with the threat of execution, until he made a daring escape. He was a diplomat with a flair for the theatrical, returning to London from the Middle East wearing Arab robes, presaging Lawrence of Arabia a century later. It may be no surprise that Smith lived in Paris, the capital of his former enemy, for the last twenty-five years of his life.

It has been said that this tune had origins in the composer George Friedrich Handel’s music, although this is not confirmed, and certainly Handel incorporated English music he heard and adapted it for his own purposes. The tune does appear in England’s John Clare music manuscript as “Handel’s Gavotte.” Bryan Creer finds the first two bars of “Sir Sydney” in Handel’s “A virtuous wife shall soften fortune’s frown” from Susanna. The tune is also popular in southern English sessions.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; pg. 141.

Recorded sources: - Tomcat Music TCCD02, Pauline Cato & Tom McConville – "The Surprise" (1999. Track 13). Flying Fish FF‑299, The Battlefield Band ‑ "There's a Buzz" (1982).



Back to Sir Sidney Smith March