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Jacko Robinson (Tunes from Beatrice Hill)

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Source: Russell Wortley's recording in the British Library C777/1 S2 C5, C8; C777/6 S2 C8
Performer: Hill, Beatrice
Place Collected: Bromsberrow Heath
Date collected: 27 August 57 and 18 August 1959
Collector: Wortley, Russell

Russell Wortley encountered Beatrice Hill at Bromsberrow Heath, a village in Gloucestershire but with an address outside the County because of the location of the nearest Postal Sorting Office. Beatrice Hill’s father, who came originally from Gloucester, kept the Bell public house in Bromsberrow Heath and was the Morris “King”; her sister Emily Bishop was a fine singer and can be heard singing and talking about the Morris Dancing on Country Songs and Carols (Folktrax FTX-129). Russell Wortley’s recordings of Beatrice Hill and Emily Bishop are available for listening, by appointment, at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB. See

In the linked abc file this is tune number X:4

Mrs Hill played for Peter Kennedy in F. The tunes recorded by Russell Wortley are in E. The difference could be due to different tape speeds. Thanks to Rob Gowing, Mrs Hill’s grandson, we have examined her melodeon, and found that it is in F.

Jacko Robinson Russell Wortley recorded this on 27 August 1957 and 18 August 1959. He published it in his article on the Bromsberrow Heath Morris Dances. (reference below)
Beatrice Hill played this tune for the Bromsberrow Heath Three-handed Reel. She described how the dancers went round each other, then stopped back to back, turned and faced each other and “jigged (stepped) to one another”. “I was supposed to play quicker then.” This jigging corresponded to the 2nd strain of the tune.

The Three-Handed Reel, was performed at Bromsberrow Heath by three pairs of dancers, either with stick clashing or with stepping. (See Russell Wortley’s article in EDS and Lionel Bacon’s book.) Both Stephen Baldwin and Beatrice Hill played tunes for it. RW published Jacko Robinson, though without mentioning the name, which Mrs Hill had told him. With some prompting she agreed that A-Nutting we will Go was also used for the dance. Mr Baldwin’s favourite was Cock of the North, and he mentioned Flowers of Edinburgh as an alternative. (see Jacko Robinson)

Lionel Bacon, A Handbook of Morris Dances, The Morris Ring, 1974
Russell Wortley, ‘The Bromsberrow Heath Morris Dances’, English Dance & Song, Vol. 23, p 94, June 1959

Notes by Paul Burgess and Charles Menteith

Media & Downloads

Hear the song/tune as collected (mp3 stream):

See the song/tune as collected (PDF file)
Hear the song/tune (midi file)
Version to sing (abc file)