2019-09 Tune of the Month - Sailor's Hornpipe

  1. HonketyHank
    HonketyHank
    The September 2019 tune of the month is "Sailors' Hornpipe" or "Sailor's Hornpipe" or "Sailors Hornpipe", depending on your guess of exactly how many sailors you are thinking about and your punctuation skills. Everybody knows the tune - it can be heard in just about any movie, tv show, or cartoon that has a nautical element, especially if the plot is humorous or whimsical. As for me, I immediately think of Popeye and Olive Oyl when I hear the tune.

    Here is a quote from ibiblio.org's Fiddlers' Companion:

    "Originally titled the 'College Hornpipe' this melody became known as the 'Sailor's Hornpipe' through its association with the performance of the hornpipe dance, typically performed on the stage in nautical costume (see notes for 'College Hornpipe'). At the turn of the 18th century a sailor was a favorite character of the musical stage and the nautical theme became so associated with the dance that many hornpipes were generically labeled a 'sailor's hornpipe'. "

    Ibiblio's Fiddlers' Companion lists four distinctly different tunes under the name "Sailor's Hornpipe", with three more that are much better known under a different name.

    Here is the first version of the "Sailor's Hornpipe" listed by ibiblio.com (transposed from Bb to G), which is similar to the version I remember from Popeye the Sailorman cartoons:

    X:1
    T:Sailor's Hornpipe [1]
    T:College Hornpipe
    L:1/8
    Q:180
    M:4/4
    B:Hardingís All Round Collection, No. 177 (1905)
    Z:ibiblio.org Fiddlerís Companion
    K:G
    G3/2F/ | G2 G,2 G,2 D3/2C/ | B,3/2D/ G2 G3/2B/ A3/2G/ | A2 A,2 A,2 A3/2G/ | F3/2A/ d3/2^c/ d2 e3/2f/ |
    g3/2f/ e3/2d/ e3/2d/ c3/2B/ | c3/2B/ A3/2G/ G3/2F/ E3/2D/ | E3/2G/ F3/2A/ G3/2B/ A3/2c/ |
    B2 G2 G4 :||: D3/2C/ | B,3/2D/ G3/2D/ C3/2D/ G3/2D/ | E2 C2 C2 E3/2D/ | ^C3/2E/ A3/2E/ C3/2E/ A3/2E/ |
    F2 D2 D2 c3/2B/ | c2 e2 e3/2d/ c3/2B/ | c3/2B/ A3/2G/ G3/2F/ E3/2D/ | E3/2G/ F3/2A/ G3/2B/ d3/2c/ | B2 G2 G4 :|

    And here is a link to Mike Stangeland's tabledit version on mandozine.com, which is very similar to the above abc script if you put a lot of swing into it: http://www.mandozine.com/music/table...ipe-G-Trad.tef

    Baron Collins-Hill has a free lesson at his website www.mandolessons.com . And Banjo Ben Clark (www.banjobenclark) has a free "teaser" lesson video; the full lesson is not expensive, but not free. And really, Baron is not free either if you make your contributions. I like them both.

    I scoured YouTube for a pro mandolin recording that I liked. I couldn't resist this one: it creates images of whales and guppies immediately.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOLZd_BurhE (Sailor's Hornpipe starts at about the 1:45 mark)


    Have fun with this one and don't forget to eat your spinach! I yam what I yam!
  2. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    I love this Popeye theme, and learned it shortly after picking up the mandolin! Looking forward to re-learning this one though I probably won’t post (again). Failure to post videos is habit forming.
  3. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Darn it, I didn't have a tuba handy. Or quite the speed of the guys in the first video.

  4. bbcee
    bbcee
    Great stuff, Louise! I love the arrangement, especially the B part. Looks like that cat can sleep through anything (maybe even a tuba).
  5. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Bbcee, thanks.

    Oscar is 16, so he sleeps a lot, and he was raised in a household where someone was always practicing some instrument or another. He still gets up long enough to throw things off tables and the counter though, just because he can. Little old jerk!
  6. HonketyHank
    HonketyHank
    Louise, that was very nice. First time through I didn't even notice Oscar -- I was looking at the mandolin. Interesting arrangement and played well.
  7. SOMorris
    SOMorris
    I thought is was nice too, Louise. The guys in the video Hank posted were just showing off!
  8. MikeZito
    MikeZito
    I just may take a crack that this one myself - but for the video I will need to get a corn cob pipe, and tattoos of anchors on my forearms . . . .
  9. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    And spinach, Mike. Canned spinach.
  10. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin


    Nicely played Louise - I had never heard that arrangement before.
    Every year this tune is played on the last night of the proms with the prommers doing their bobbing up and down thing. Unfortunately I could not demonstrate on my video as I have no strap for my mandola, so you will just have to bob up and down yourselves as you listen to it.
  11. bbcee
    bbcee
    Nicely played and good melodic choices, Maudlin. I should have stolen some of your ideas!

    Here's mine, done on tenor guitar, mandolin and melodica. I was trying to play two different Tunefox variations, but ran out of time, so this is what I could do between work & traveling:

  12. MikeZito
    MikeZito
    After seeing Maudlin's video I can see that the melody is WAY to complicated for my fumble-fingers playing - so, I'll just have to wait until the Tune Of The Month is 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' . . . .

    Nice job, everybody - keep up the good work!
  13. HonketyHank
    HonketyHank
    Maudlin and bbcee: very interesting versions. I am beginning to believe that the version I remember from childhood on through my dotage is the oddball and you guys have the 'real Sailors' Hornpipe' over there across the ocean.

    Maudlin, that's a good illustration of nailing those long stretches with the pinkie.

    bbcee, what a nice production!

    Well done, both of you!

    It looks like I am going to take a pass this month - been busy with life's other chores. Hopefully I get back in the saddle next month. One of my ambitions for some time has been to do a two-tune set of Sailor's Hornpipe and Devil's Dream. I did do some work on SH, but I still need to get it up to speed (or maybe 3/4 of the way up to speed) and then work on DD. Will announce October TOM tom-orrow.
  14. Kevin Stueve
    Kevin Stueve
    MikeZito, the tattoo on my forearm includes an anchor . (as well as an eagle and a globe does that count?). Like Mark I have gotten into the habit of not posting, nice jobe every one.
  15. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Funny how different these three arrangements are. The one I used was from a book of fiddle tunes—the one Sleet and I both have with the yellow cover and the refugees from 1974 on the cover.

    Great work, Bbcee and Maudlin. On to October, one and all.
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