Annotation:White Cockade (1) (The)

Find traditional instrumental music

X:1 T:White Cockade [1] M:C| L:1/8 R:March S:fifer Thomas Nixon Jr./Joseph Long copybook (c. 1776-78. pp. 90-91) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G GA|B2 Bc B2 AG|d2B2B2g2|d2 Bc B2 AG|FGAB A2 GA| B2 Bc B2 AG|A2B2 g4|a2 f2 g2e2|d2B2 B3:| |:Bc|d2 Bc g2 Bc|d2 de d4|edef gfga|b2 e2 e2 d>c/B/4| g2 d2 BA G2|A2B2g4|a2f2g2e2|d2B2B2:||

WHITE COCKADE [1], THE (An Cnota Bán). AKA and see "Caledonian Quadrille - Figure 5a," "Celebrated Set of Quadrilles II - Figure 4," "Duke of Buccleugh's Tune (The)," "Ranting Highlander (The)," "Ranting Highlandman (The)," "Fiddler's Morris," "Highland lad my love was born (A),” "Highland Laddie (3) (The)," "Lad with the White Cockade (The)," "O an ye were dead guidman,” "Reel des Laurentides," “Rose in the Garden (The)” (a Kings County, PEI title), "White Cock Head," "Wind Blew the Bonnie Lassie’s Plaidie Away (The)." Scottish (originally), Irish, English, Canadian, American; Air, Scottish Measure, Reel, March, or Country Dance. USA; New England, New Hampshire, Maine, southwestern Pa., New York, Michigan. Canada, Prince Edward Island. G Major (most versions): C Major (Howe/Accordeon): F Major (Kershaw). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bayard, Kershaw, O'Neill/1850, Skye): AAB (Linscott): AABB (most versions). The tune in its original form is properly catagorized a Scottish Measure. One of the first printings of the air is in Playford's Apollo's Banquet of 1687 where it was called simply a "Scots tune," and another early title seems to have been "Duke of Buccleugh's Tune (The)." Bayard (1981) dates the tune to the latter 17th century (apparently due to the Playford publication), but admits it might be older, although Grattan Flood (1906) more decisively (though without documentation) identifies it as a popular air and song of 1615–1630. Linscott (1939) finds a relatively late printing by Herd in 1776, by which time the air was thoroughly established.

A cockade was a ribbon in the shape of a rosette used as a decoration on hats, and thus was a convenient vehicle to display the wearer’s loyalties in much the same manner as a button or a bumper sticker nowadays. It was used especially as a uniform decoration and to mark irregular troops in the 18th century and various colors represented different loyalties. A white cockade was associated with Jacobite rebels in 1715 and again for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s uprising in 1745, in both Scotland and Ireland. The Americans, with a high percentage of both Scots-Irish and Irish in their ranks who identified with the earlier rebels, adopted the white cockade as their symbol during the Revolutionary War and when France entered the war they added the black cockade of that country’s troops, forming the black and white “Alliance cockade” (Johnson, Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century, 1984, and others). It is popularly thought that the title of the tune refers to a these Jacobite symbols. Jacobite associations to it dimmed by the end of the century, allowing the tune to be absorbed (like the Highlander’s kilts) and used as a march in the British army in 1812 where it appears in a military musician's manuscript book of the period (Winstock). Other military citations include it as one of two stirring tunes (along with "St. Patrick's Day in the Morning") played by pipers attached to the Irish Brigade in the service of France which helped to turn the tide of battle against the English troops in the battle of Fontenoy on May 11, 1745 (O’Neill, 1913). Flood (1906) and O’Neill (1913) state it was probably the last appearance in battle of the Irish Piob mor (war pipes or great pipes, which did survive in Scotland) of any mention.

The title is from a Jacobite song from the 18th century written by Muiris mac Daibhi mac Gerailt (Maurice FitzDavid FitzGerald) perhaps after, it has been variously suggested, the fashion of wearing white ribboned plumes in men's hats of the time or possibly to the white cockade which Dublin ladies wore in their hair to show their support of the House of Stewart. Breathnach (CRÉ 2) reports that Seán Ó Dálaigh wrote a note to this song stating that it refers not, as many think, to a military cockade but rather to bouquets of ribbons worn by the young women of Munster at weddings and other such occasions early in the 17th century. Donald Mattson (1974) also believes the title “White Cockade” has nothing to do with a military cockade but rather refers to a bouquet. This custom is referred to in a verse Ó Dálaigh attributes to the period poet Muiris Mac Gearailt:

A chailín donn deas an chnota bháin,
Do bhuair is mheall mé le h-iomad grá;
Tair-se liom 's ná de/an me/ chrá,
Mar do thug mé greann dod' chnota bán.

Oh pretty brown girl of the white cockade,
Who grieved and charmed me with abundance of love;
Come with me and don't torment me,
Because I mocked your white cockade. ... [translation by Paul de Grae]

Scots poet Robert Burns rewrote the lyrics as “A Highland Lad my Love was Born,” but the tune itself seems to have been more popular than even his song, and it was often used as a vehicle for various songs about love, topography, and drinking (see "The Ranting Highlander," "The Highland Laddie," "Fiddler's Morris"). {As an aside, Burn’s originally specified his lyric be sung to the tune of the song "O, and ye were dead, Guidman,” which was written to the melody of "Watson's Scots Measure"}.

In America, the tune was published by Philadelphia publishers Benjamin and Joseph Carr in Evening Amusement (1796). The melody appears in the music manuscript copybook of Henry Livingston, Jr. Livingston purchased the estate of Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1771 at the age of 23. In 1775 he was a Major in the 3rd New York Regiment, which participated in Montgomery’s invasion of Canada in a failed attempt to wrest Montreal from British control. An important land-owner in the Hudson Valley, and a member of the powerful Livingston family, Henry was also a surveyor and real estate speculator, an illustrator and map-maker, and a Justice of the Peace for Dutchess County. He was also a poet and musician, and presumably a dancer, as he was elected a Manager for the New York Assembly’s dancing season of 1774–1775, along with his 3rd cousin, John Jay, later U.S. Chief Justice of Governor of New York. “White Cockade” was still commonly played at Orange County, New York, country dances in the 1930's (Lettie Osborn, New York Folklore Quarterly). The tune is associated with a dance of the same name in New England, and one set appears in Linscott’s Folk Songs of Old New England; Johnson also prints a Scottish contra dance to the tune. Burchenal (1918) gives the tune as commonly played in that region for the contra dance Camptown Hornpipe. It was listed in the repertoire of Maine fiddler Mellie Dunham (the elderly Dunham was Henry Ford's champion fiddler in the late 1920's). 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 tune was played by fiddler David R. Hamblon (1809–1893), originally from Cumberland Gap, Lee County, western Virginia, as transcribed by his grandson A. Porter Hamblon (1875–195?). These words accompany first strain of the tune in the Hamblon MS.:

Along came a Yankee and his knapsack,
And a great big pumpkin on his back;
An Indian pone and three pounds of pork,
On his way down to New York.

The English novelist Thomas Hardy, himself an accordion player and fiddler, mentions the tune in scene notes to his drama The Dynasts:

It is a June Midnight at The Duke & Duchess of Richmond's. A band of stringed instruments shows in the background. The room is crowded with a brilliant assemblage of more than two hundred of the distinguished people sojourning in the city on account of the war and other reasons, and of local personages of State and fashion. The ball has opened with 'The White Cockade.

The author of English Folk-Song and Dance (p. 144) found the tune in the repertoire of fiddler William Tilbury (who lived at Pitch Place, midway between Chrut and Thursley in Surrey), who, in his young days, used to play the fiddle at village dances. Tilbury learned his repertoire from an uncle, Fiddler Hammond, who died around 1870 and who was the village musician before him. The conclusion was that “The White Cockade” and similar old country dance tunes survived in tradition (at least in southwest Surrey) well into the second half of the 19th century. A jig form of the tune is known as "Hundred Pipers (A)." The melody is contained in the Joseph Kershaw manuscript. Kershaw was a fiddler who lived in Slackcote, Saddleworth, North West England, in the 19th century, and his manuscript dates from around 1820 onwards. Likewise, "White Cockade" can be found in the mid-19th century music manuscript of William Winter (1774-1861), a shoemaker and violin player who lived in West Bagborough, Somerset, southwest England.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Adam (Old Time Fiddlers' Favorite Barn Dance Tunes), 1928; No. 16. Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 1 (appears as "The Ranting Highlandman," a title G. Farquhar Graham thought Aird found more prudent than “The White Cockade” as sentiments from the rising of ’45 were still strong). Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs vol. 4), 1796; No. 38 p. 15. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 147 (appears as “Yorkshire Square Eight”, the name of a country dance set to the tune). Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 174A–D, pp. 125–126. Blake (Ye Ancient Song & Fife Musick), 1974; p. 26. Breathnach (Ceol Rince na hÉireann vol. 2), 1976; No. 115, p. 63. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 291. Burchenal (American Country Dances, vol. 1), 1918; p. 18 (appears as "Camptown Hornpipe"). Cahusac (Pocket Companion for the German Flute, vol. 1), c. 1794; p. 40. Calvert (A Collection of Marches & Quick Steps, Strathspeys & Reels), 1799; p. 9 ("Second to...") Carlin (Gow Collection), 1986; No. 466. Cazden (Reels, Jigs and Squares: 200 Dance Tunes), 1945; p. 20. J. Clinton (Gems of Ireland:200 Airs), 1841; No. 199, p. 104. Creighton (Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia), 1932; No. 85, p. 183. Joseph Dale (Dale’s Selection of the most favorite Country Dances, Reels &c.), London, c. 1800, p. 14. Deloughery (Sliabh Luachra on Parade), 1980; No. 125. DeVille (Universal Favorite Contra Dance Album), 1905; No. 73. Diack (Scottish Country Dance Book, Book 5), 1928; no. 11. Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), p. 124. Ford (Traditional Music of America), 1940; p. 109. Fraser (Airs and Melodies), 1816; No. 126. Gow (Vocal Melodies of Scotland), 1822; p. 35. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 2), 1802; p. 19. Graham & Wood (Popular Songs of Scotland), 1908; pp. 218–219. Hardie (Caledonian Companion), 1992; p. 29. Harding Collection (1915) and Harding's Original Collection (1928), No. 18. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 1), 1858; No. 22, p. 9. Henderson (Flowers of Scottish Melody), 1935. Hopkins (American Veteran Fifer), 1905; No. 13, p. 7. Howe (Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon), c. 1843; p. 6. Howe (School for the Violin), 1851, p. 33. Hunter (The Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 313. Huntington (William Litten's Fiddle Tunes, 1800–1802), 1977; p. 17. Jarman (Old Time Fiddlin' Tunes); No. or p. 22. Broadwood, “Eleven Gaelic Folk Songs,” Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol. 1, no. 2, 1933, p. 94 ([1]). JFSS, vol. 4, p. 159 (2nd half). Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 3), 1790; No. 272 (apparently the first printing in Scotland). Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 8: 28 Country Dances), 1988; p. 10. The Joseph Kershaw Manuscript, 1993; No. 18. Joyce (Ancient Irish Music), 1873, No. 80. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 112. Keller (Giles Gibbs Jr., His Book for the Fife...1777), 1974, p. 28. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book, vol. 1), 1951; No. 60, p. 29. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; No. 2, p. 23 & p. 40. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), Glasgow, 1910; p. 26. Linscott (Folk Songs of Old New England), 1939; pp. 117 & 120. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 170. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 61. Mattson & Walz (Old Fort Snelling: Instruction Book for the Fife), 1974; p. 42. McDonald (The Gesto Collection of Highland Music), 1895; pp. 6 & 126. McDonald (A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs), 1784; p. 33 (Dance No. 5). Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler's Repertoire), 1983; No. 105. Morrison (Twenty-Four Early American Country Dances, Cotillions & Reels, for the Year 1976), 1976; p. 41. Mangan & O'Daly (The Poets and Poetry of Munster), 1849; p. 50. O’Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 3), c. 1808; pp. 4–5 (with variations). O'Malley & Atwood (Seventy Good Old Dances), 1919; p. 41. O'Neill (O'Neill's Irish Music), 1915; No. 108, p. 61 (includes variations). O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1803, p. 328. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 155. Preston (Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife), 1796; p. 27. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 151. Edward Riley (Riley's Flute Melodies vol. 1), New York, 1814; No. 135, p. 35. Ritson (Scottish Songs, vol. 2), 1794; No. 22, pp. 89–90. Ritson (Scottish Songs, vol. 2), 1869; No. 22, p. 430. Robbins (Collection of 200 Jigs, Reels, and Country Dances), 1933; No. 82, p. 26. A. Robinson Jr. (Massachusetts collection of martial musick: containing a plain, easy and concise introduction to the grounds of martial musick), Exeter, 1820; p. 62. William Ross (Collection [of] Pipe Music), 1869; No. 107, p. 99. Ruth (Pioneer Western Folk Tunes), 1948; No. 80, p. 29. Batt Scanlon (The Violin Made Easy and Attractive), 1923; p. 66. Shaw (Cowboy Dances), 1943; p. 391. Smith (Scottish Minstrel, vol. 1), 1820–24; p. 21. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 147. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 32. Thompson (A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs, vol. 4), 1805; No. 188. Tolman (Nelson Music Collection), p. 168. Trim (Musical Heritage of Thomas Hardy), 1990; No. 6 (appears as "White Cock Head"). White's Excelsior Collection, 1907; p. 72. Wilson (A Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; pp. 39 & 54.

Recorded sources : - Alcazar Dance Series FR 204, Rodney Miller – "New England Chestnuts 2" (1981). Folkways FA 2381, "The Hammered Dulcimer as played by Chet Parker" (1966). Folkways FTS 31036, Roger Sprung – "Grassy Licks." Maggie’s Music MM220, Hesperus – “Celtic Roots.” North Star NS0038, "The Village Green: Dance Music of Old Sturbridge Village." Olympic 6151, The Scottish Festival orchestra – "Scottish Traditonal Fiddle Music" (1978). RCA 09026-60916-2, The Chieftains – "An Irish Evening" (1991). Topic TSCD607, Walter & Daisy Bulwer – “English Country Music” (2000. Originally recorded 1962). Transatlantic 337, Dave Swarbrick – "Swarbrick." Victor 20537 (78 RPM), Mellie Dunham (Me.), 1926 (appears as 2nd tune of "Medley of Reels").

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [2]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]

Back to White Cockade (1) (The)

(0 votes)