Wonder Hornpipe (The)
X:1 T:Wonder Hornpipe M:C L:1/8 R:Hornpipe S:Kerr - Merry Melodies vol. 1 (c. 1880, No. 29, p. 46) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Bb (3FGA|:B>fd>B A>ec>A|B>cd>B F2 BA|G>Bc>d e>dc>B|A>cf>=e g>f_e>c| B>fd>B A>ec>A|B>cd>B F2 BA|G>gf>e d>cB>A|c2B2B2:| |:c>B|A>cf>=e f>dc>B|A>cf>=e f>ag>f|=e>fg>a b>ge>g|f>=ef>g f2 _e2| d>ed>c B>d g2|c>dc>B A>c f2|g>ba>g f>ed>c|B2d2B2:|
WONDER HORNPIPE, THE. AKA and see “Coey's Hornpipe,” "George Ross' Hornpipes," "London Clog (2)," "Miss Ferry's Hornpipe," "Princess Hornpipe," “Southern Shore (The),” “Tammany Ring, "Thames (The).” English, Scottish, Irish, Canadian; Hornpipe (whole time). G Major (Kennedy, Raven): B Flat Major (Honeyman, Kerr, Miller). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Honeyman, Kennedy, Miller, Raven): AA'BB (Kerr). “The Wonder” is often attributed to James Hill (folk musician) (c. 1811-1853) of Newcastle, Northumberland, England, who was born in Scotland but active from the 1830s to 1850s in Gateshead and Newcastle. Hill, a sometime publican and popular tavern fiddler, has a lasting reputation particularly for his well-crafted hornpipes (“High Level Hornpipe (1),” “Beeswing,” “Hawk (The),” etc.). He was apparently a sportsman (or frequented sporting events) and was wont to name tunes after racehorses and pubs. He is sometimes called the ‘Paganini of the hornpipe’.
Honeyman prints three versions, one each in his three hornpipe playing styles: Sand Dance, Newcastle, and Sailor's. The first four bars of the second strain of "Black's Hornpipe (1)" are reminiscent of this tune. W.B. Laybourn, editor of the 1880's Köhler's Violin Repository, vol. 1 (1881) included the melody as an untitled "Clog Hornpipe." Irish versions can be found in O’Neill under the titles “Coey's Hornpipe” and “Southern Shore (The),” and an American one in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection (1883) as “Tammany Ring.”
The tune was recorded on a 78 RPM record by champion accordion player George Ross in the mid-1950’s. Ross, born 1916, was from County Wexford and was a member of Mayglass Ceili Band. In hommage, "The Wonder Hornpipe" was recorded by the group De Dannan as "George Ross' Hornpipes" ("New Century (2) (The)" is the other tune in the Ross medley). A version was also recorded on 78 RPM in 1928 by County Galway flute player Tom Morrison as "London Clog (2)."