Dave Faulkner introduces the tune which he played to win the Open Border Pipe class at this year’s competition

I came across this tune when reading through Pete Stewart’s Three Extraordinary Collections 1 – I bought it last year at the Bagpipe Society’s annual Blow Out. I already had the three collections in facsimile but the notes, observations and concordances etc., from Pete’s books are always worth reading and re-reading. It was the Pibroch version in the concordances which gave me a way into the tune. This then led me to Butcher Row and then a quick chase around other manuscripts to find other versions. Excerpts from the 19 variations in the McFarlane MS setting are also in Welcome Home My Dearie, published by Pete Stewart.
There are versions in Atkinson (1694), Walsh2, MacFarlane, Little and the Winders3 manuscript, there is also a version in Playford.4 There must be others. I could find no reference to the tune in Vickers.
The Irish Trot in Playford is in 2/4 or 4/4 and I could not find a resemblance to the jig at all, so I assume it is a completely different melody by the same name. In some references it is suggested that there is a song version of the Irish Trot called Hyde Park Frolic, also published by Playford; again I couldn’t find a resemblance although this version is a jig. I did come across one other Trot which was called the Dutch Trot – perhaps suggesting Trot describes a dance?
Roderick Cannon talks about Butchers Row in his 1972 article exploring English Bagpipe Music published in the Folk Music Journal.5 He says it is a curious tune that fits entirely within the nine note compass of the chanter. He refers to 29 variations. In checking the variations, as I remember, it does seem that the tune does go over the octave by one note in one or two variations. This still does not exclude it from being a pipe tune though.
Coming back to the tune and thinking about it as a Pibroch helped me find a way to play it. Alan MacDonald talks about some pibrochs being wrapped around song. I imagined the piece as a street song or call emanating from some dodgy butcher – “pigs snout, get your pigs snout” or whatever it might be. It gave some humour to the tune and let me play it more freely.
In the Wynders manuscripts, 1789, it survives in a simpler and less developed form than the earlier Walsh and McFarlane versions. Here it is clearly 32 bars of dance music. There must be other places where it was written down as such but as yet I haven’t come across them.

Two settings of the tune from Henry Atkinson’s manuscript, 1694; probable the tune’s first appearance; note the difference in key signature
(courtesy of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries) and below, the tune as it appears in Walsh’s third Book, c. 1730, with two sharps

Irish Trot
Also called Butcher Row or Pibroch. A selection of variations (mostly from Pibroch, McFarlane MS, 1740, title from Little, 1775) with some by David Faulkner. The tune is written out with no embellishment and the player is expected to make their own!

[Ed: David’s performance of this music at the LBPS Competition will be available on the website once the day’s recordings have been edited]

1. Three Extraordinary Collections, Hornpipe Music, 3rd edition, 2011 available from http://hornpipemusic.co.uk/3xcolls.html
2. Walsh, J., The Third Book of the Most celebrated Jiggs, Lancashire Hornpipes etc, London 1730.
3. The manuscripts of the Winder family (1789, 1823, 1835 etc) as The Winders of Wyresdale, were edited and published by Andy Hornby, Lancashire, 2013
4. Playford, H., Dancing Master, 1651
5. All of Roderick Cannon’s essays on the bagpipe in England were reprinted in Essays on the Bagpipe in Englan’, edited by Pete Stewart and published by The Bagpipe Society, 2014.