X:1 T:Ypsilanti Hornpipe M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Hornpipe S:White’s Unique Collection (1896), No. 126 Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Bb (f/e/) | d/b/f/d/ c/g/e/c/ | B/f/d/B/ A/e/c/A/ | B/F/G/A/ B/c/d/e/ | (=e/f/^f/g/) (a/g/=f/_e/) | d/b/f/d/ c/g/e/c/ | B/f/d/B/ A/e/c/A/ | B/b/f/d/ c/B/A/c/| Bd[DB] :| |: (A/B/) |.c/(f/=e/f/) (g/f/)(e/f/) | .d/(g/^f/g/) (a/g/)(f/g/) | b/a/g/=f/ =e/d/c/=B/ |c/=B/c/^c/ =e/d/c/_B/ | .A/(f/=e/f/) (g/f/)(e/f/) | .d/(g/^f/g/) (a/g/)(f/g/) |b/g/=e/c/ =B/c/d/e/ | fa[Af] :|
YPSILANTI HORNPIPE. AKA and see “O'Kelly's Fancy,” “Thames Hornpipe.” American, Hornpipe. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The city of Ypsilanti, founded in 1823, is the second oldest in the state of Michigan. It is located in the southern part of the state, west of Detroit.
The first strain is a bit of a "floater" and is shared with "Thames Hornpipe," but both strains are cognate with "O'Kelly's Fancy," an Irish variant of no great antiquity. Glasgow publisher James Kerr printed the tune "Thames" tune twice; as an untitled hornpipe in Merry Melodies vol. 1 (c. 1880's), then again in Merry Melodies vol. 3 as “Thames Hornpipe. However, there is little reminiscent of national character about the core tune. "Ypsilanti" appears in the Boston publisher Elias Howe’s Ryan’s Mammoth Collection (1883). It would seem that Kerr's first volume of Merry Melodies might predate Ryan's Mammoth Collection, although the provenance of the tune remains indeterminate. At any rate, it has the character of a ‘composed’ hornpipe, i.e. a melody by a trained composer specifically for a stage production or show performance, rather than a tune honed by tradition.