Tune of the Day: Rickett's Hornpipe
The earliest appearance of this melody is in Alexander McGlashan's Collection of Scots Measures, published in Edinburgh in 1781. It is listed under the title “Danced by Aldridge”, a reference to the great Irish-born dancer of the late 18th century Robert Aldridge. Imported to America, the melody became very popular in all regions and genres.
The particular Rickett honored in the title is probably John Bill Ricketts, a circus promoter who came from England to Philadelphia in 1792. He reportedly delighted his audiences by dancing hornpipes on the backs of galloping horses.