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Sailors Hornpipe


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Sailors Hornpipe

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Sheet Music


The "Sailor's Hornpipe" or "Jack's the Lad" is a tune that Samuel Pepys referred to in his diary as "The Jig of the Ship" and to which Captain Cook, is noted to have regularly ordered his men to dance to in order to keep them in good health. The music then would have been played on a tin whistle, a fiddle or the squeezebox or a combination of all three. The dance that accompanies the music imitates the life of a sailor and his duties aboard ship (for example hauling of ropes, rowing, climbing the rigging and saluting). It is thought that tune may have been written on Tyneside circa 1770. During the annual “Last Night of the Proms” in London, the audience brings foghorns and blows them in accompaniment to the music, creating a loud, frantic finale as the music reaches its fastest speed. Groucho Marx can be seen doing this dance to this number in the film, “Duck Soup”. The tune is also used in the animated 1930’s “Popeye” cartoons and in Mike Oldfield's 1973 debut album “Tubular Bells”.

Arranged by Tom Barton

1:30 Minutes

4 Trumpets
1 Horn in F
3 Trombones
1 Euphonium
1 Tuba
2 Percussion

Percussion section requires: Timpani and Wood Block

Alternative transposed parts for Eb Tenor Horn, Bb Trombone, Euphonium or Baritone in Treble Clef and Eb & Bb Bass in Treble Clef are automatically included in both hard copy and download formats.

If you require additionally transposed parts, please drop me an email at