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Beatrice Hill's Untitled Hornpipe (Tune from Beatrice Hill)

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Performer: Hill, Beatrice
Place Collected: Bromesberrow
Date collected: 26 July 1954 & 27 August 1957
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

Peter Kennedy also recorded three of Beatrice Hill’s tunes when he was working for the BBC. He issued them on Folktracks 45-115, A Nutting We will Go.

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.

In the linked abc files this is tune number X:5

Beatrice Hill’s Untitled Hornpipe was recorded twice by Russell Wortley on 26 June 1954 and 27 August 1957. Michael Raven published it under the title Beatrice Hill’s Three Handed Reel, under which it has become known. I have not found any evidence that Mrs Hill actually played it for the Reel.

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

Folktracks 45-115, A Nutting We will Go
Russell Wortley’s recordings, British Library, C777/1, recorded 27-08-1957, and C777/6, recorded 18-08-1959.

Media & Downloads

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

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