Hole in the Wall (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Hole in the Wall [1] M:3/2 L:1/8 K:Bb |:d3e de f2 c2f2|B3 c Bc d2A2d2|G3 A GA B2F2d2| B6 A2 B4:||b3 a ga b2 a2 g2|^f3 g fg a2d2a2| b3 a ga b2a2g2|g6 ^f2 g4|G3 A GA B2 AB c2| B3c Bc d2 cd e2|d3e de f2F2f2|d6 cd B4||

HOLE IN THE WALL [1], THE. English, Country Dance Tune (3/2 or 3/4 time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The music and country dance directions were published in London by Henry Playford and first appear in The Second Part of the Dancing Master, 2nd edition (1698, first section, p. 30). It was retained in the long-running Dancing Master series through the 18th edition of 1728, published at the time by John Young, heir to the Playford publishing concerns. It was also published by the John Walshes (father. and later, son) in their Compleat Country Dancing Master, editions of 1718, 1735 and 1754. The melody was composed in 1695 by English composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695) as "Hornpipe No. 8" from the incidental music to his "Abdelazar; or The Moor's Revenge" suite. Dances were set to the parts of Purcell's suite by leading choreographers of the day. The dance ‘Hole in the Wall’ was crafted so that as the dance progresses (in duple minor fashion) one couple splits and the other couple moves through the ‘hole in the wall’.

Hole-in-the-Wall is a descriptive name for many pubs and taverns, to this day, usually denoting small, perhaps cozy establishments set within a building row. Sometimes the name is more literal: Dublin's Hole in the Wall Pub was named after an establishment that served soldiers from a nearby barracks through a hole in the wall. A famous Hole-in-the-Wall was in Kilkenny, behind High Street, and was from 1750–1850 one of Ireland's more renowned supper-houses, patronized by the Duke of Wellington, Sir Jonah Barrington and Henry Grattan. A popular verse of the time went:

If you ever go to Kilkenny
Remember the Hole in the Wall;
You may there get blind drunk for a penny,
Or tipsy for nothing at all.

Brendan Breathnach collected a similar verse from James Gannon in the mid-20th century. Set to the 9/8 time tune of "Moll Roe (1)" or "Táim in Arrears," Gannon's words go:

Whenever you go to Kilkenny,
Look out for the Hole in the Wall;
It's there you'll get pigs' feet and bacon
And buttermilk for nothing at all.

One tavern called Hole-in-the-Wall was in London's Strand, scene of the capture of one of the most famous highwaymen in England, Claude Duval, around 1670. Duval was born in Normandy in 1643 but became attached as a servant to a group of English Royalists in that country and returned to England with them when Charles II was restored to the throne. Learning gentlemanly manners in his capacity as a footman to a nobleman, Duval by 1666 had embarked on a life of crime, although he maintained his gallant and fashionable ways. He was variously described as an alchemist, an expert card player and gambler, living the life of a rake. The dashing highwayman was subject of a book by William Pope, written soon after Duval's death, assuring his lasting fame by reporting his exploits. One such recorded by Pope involved Duval's robbery of a coach containing a nobleman and his lady. She, putting on a brave front and determined not to be cowed, took out a flageolet or tin-whistle and began to play a tune, causing Duval to respond by taking out his own whistle and playing as well. Taking it one step further, Duval complimented the nobleman on his wife's playing and suggested that she would probably be just as skilled a dancer--then invited her to dance with him on the heath. The dance complete the lady rejoined her husband, whom Duval assessed a fee for neglecting to pay for the music, stealing four hundred pounds from him. Duval's epitaph reads, in part, "Here lies Du Vall. Reader if male thou art, look to thy purse. If female, to thy heart."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 377. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Fleming-Williams & Shaw (English Dance Airs; Popular Selection, Book 1), 1965; p. 6. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 19. Watson (A Rollick of Recorders or Other Instruments), 1975; No. 7, p. 8.

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