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Pipe on the Hob (Ador)

Coal Fire Hob, c. 1909

Coal Fire Hob, c. 1909

This three-part (double) jig is played AABBCC, and called “An Píopa ar an mBaic” in Irish. It’s #705 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903), and #9 in O’Neill’s 1001 (1907).  Through thr wonders of technology you can also transport yourself to a parlor, and listen to a version on ITMA from the 1930s, track 10.  A hob, by the way, is a raised surface on which to place pots, pans, and utensils for cooking in order to keep them warm.  It might be just a little raised brick surface within a large hearth, or even a raised surface in front of a fireplace, but not to be confused with a fireplace fender which is used to keep burning material from rolling out onto the floor. In the pic is a very simple coal fire hob with space just big enough for a kettle or pot of soup. There are/were many kinds, some amazingly elaborate. Depending on its construction and proximity to the fire, you might put your feet up on the hob, or lay wet cloths on the hob, or find a fiddler or piper sitting on the hob. The story behind the tune is that it used to be called “The Piper on the Hob” and was a reference to some cold winter nights when a cricket would chirp away on the hob, which was, and still is by some, regarded as sign of good luck.  The Fiddler’s Companion attributes the story to Seamus Ennis.

Now in the original story of Pinocchio, from Le Avventure di Pinocchio (1883) written by Carlo Lorenzini (1826-1890) an Italian children’s writer known by his pen name Carlo Collodi, the wooden boy falls asleep with his feet on what translators often write as “stove,” but is better rendered as “hob” — it’s brace in Italian, and so to make any sense would have to be a brazer with a hob, or at least that’s the conclusion I came to after discussing it with an Italian girlfriend a couple of decades ago.  As a result his feet burn off.  And, by the way, Pinocchio in the original is a hellion (bambino da inferno)! As is true in most cases the Disney  protagonist is completely unrecognizable.

ANYWAY, there is also a tune called “Pipe on the Hob” in Dmix, but it’s a very different tune. Our tune is on the Bothy Band album Out of the Wind, Into the Sun (1977), with Paddy Keenan on uilleann pipes.

For the ABC click Pipe on the Hob

Pipe on the Hob, slow tempo (fiddle, Dave Agee)

Pipe on the Hob, med tempo (fiddle, Dave Agee)

Pipe on the Hob, Jig in Ador

Pipe on the Hob, Jig in Ador


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