Black Mary's Hornpipe​/​Downfall of the Gin

from by Over The Yardarm

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Two traditional tunes - 3/2 hornpipes. We have no idea who Black Mary was or what she did, although we have our suspicions. The Downfall of the Gin dates from the 18th century. The Gin Act was passed by parliament in 1751 to prohibit distillers from selling to unlicensed retailers. It was enacted to reduce the consumption of gin which was seen as a principal cause of crime in London at that time. The tune itself has great similarities to a hornpipe by Henry Purcell.

Both tunes come from 'John of the Greeny Cheshire Way' - a collection of tunes dating from 1705 to 1816.

3/2 hornpipes were a musical form which was very popular in the North-West of England, but has relatives in Northumberland, Wales and Scotland where it was known as a 'double hornpipe'. These double hornpipes were probably originally written for bagpipes.

We don't play the bagpipes.


from Over The Yardarm EP, released September 14, 2012
Traditional Arranged: Baldwin/Collington/Clarke



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