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Rights of Man (Eaeol)

Paine, Rights of Man

Paine, Rights of Man (1791)

The hornpipe “Rights of Man” is a popular hornpipe, and also known as “Bedlam Boys” (though there are other tunes by this name as well).  It has been attributed to James Hill, though admittedly there is scant evidence.  It shows up in all the major Irish tune collections I’ve encountered.  Some people regard it as “too popular” and say it is overplayed at sessions – though I think this kind of comment concerning particular tunes occurs far too frequently. 😉

There is an aisling by Richard Shiel (1886) by the same title, with no direct relation.  There is also a well-known book by Thomas Paine (1737-1809), which was s defense of the American Revolution and an attack on Edmond Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. Paine’s book was a great success, so much so that he hated by almost everyone in England.

While the tune is not in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903), it is in O’Neill’s 1001 (1907). So, it has been suggested that the tune became popular in Chicago after 1903, and that it was assumed to be a new composition.

For the ABC click Rights of Man

Rights of Man, slow tempo (flute, Jim Wendels)

Rights of Man, 3/4 tempo (in session)

Rights of Man Hornpipe

Rights of Man Hornpipe

Thanks! Any comments?

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