the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

England: history of the pipe and tabor

'Regency' literature (1790 - 1809)


Mentions of the pipe and tabor in Regency times, poems often printed in newspapers; songs and plays at London theatres.

1791 essay 1791‘Alciphron’s Epistles, in which are described the domestic manners, the courtesans, and parasites of Greece;’
by Alciphron; Beloe, William, Monro, Thomas
1792 song 1792‘The muses banquet, or vocal repository, for the year 1792. Being the newest and most modern collection of songs, duets, trios, &c. ‘
1792 play:

“Farmer B: Right neighbour, we'll have Betty and Jemmy
married this very night—then she'll be out
of the way of this wicked devil of a land-lord (aside)
Pipe and tabor without…”
1782‘The Farmer.’ In Two Acts 1792 by O'keeffe, John
As performed at the Theatre-Royal, Smoke-Alley.

1792 story

“…a fisherman having placed himself by the side of the river, took a pipe and tabor out of his pocket, and began a very sprightly air….gave notice to the piper, by some means or other, to desist ; so that before we were half over the river he put up his musick and walked away;…”

Sporting Magazine : or, monthly calendar of the transactions of the turf,
the chase and every other diversion interesting to the man of pleasure, enterprize, and spirit

1793 poem

“…When the shrill pipe and tabor proclaim the light dance,
With transport I see my dear Mary advance ;…”

‘Kemmish's Annual-harmonist; or, the British Apollo; being a complete
lyric repository and banquet of amusement: containing the whims of the
night and day: with all the monstrous good, and convivial songs catches,
glees, duets, &c. ... the presidetn's companion; or, compleat toast-master.
For the better encouragement of this work, ... for the best song, ...
by September, 1793’

1793 poem ‘The Prize, a Ballad.’
(Founded on a true Story,) dedicated to the Earl of Mansfield.

“…And now the travellers take their leave.
They to the town advance,.
Where the merry pipe and tabor call
The buxom crew to dance….”

‘Poems’ by Burrell, Sophia, Lady

1793 poem ‘The British Mule’1793Hereford Journal - Wednesday 03 July 1793

1793 poem ‘Retirement’

“…Then let the tabor sound
— the dance we'll try…”

‘Poems’ by Burrell, Sophia, Lady

1794 poem

“…But, see where all the tiny elves come dancing in a ring,
With the merry, merry pipe, and the tabor, and the horn,
And the timbrel so clear, and the lute with dulcet string;
Then round about the oak they go till peeping of the morn.

And now, to punish me, she keeps afar her jocund band,
With the merry, merry pipe, and the tabor, and the lute;
If I creep near yonder oak she will wave her fairy wand,
And to me the dance will cease, and the music all be mute….

“in 'The Mysteries of Udolpho' by Ann Radcliffe

17941794'The Polite Songster; or Vocal Melody. Containing a collection of songs,
that are sung at the Theatres Royal, Vauxhall Gardens, Ranelagh'

1794 from 'The Age of Reason' by Thomas Paine, : 1794

1795 song 'Then I fly to meet my Love' Sung by Mrs. Mountain, ... Master Welsh.

“…When the light of day's departing.
And her beams bright Luna's darting,
When the raven journies home,
And the h ifer cease to roam,
When the merry pipe and tabor,
Calls the rustic swain from labour,
Then I seek the willow grove,
Then I fly to meet my Love,…”

‘The Vauxhall Songs for the Year 1795.’

1795 song


“…WHILE all around rejoice,
Pipe and tabor raise the voice,…”

‘The Modern Songster, or the new roundelay; a select collection of the newest and most admired songs. To which is added, a collection of toasts
and sentiments.’ 1795

1795 song sung in Oscar and Malina.


“...LET the merry pipe and tabor
Tell the ending of our labour,
Take your glass each honest neighbour,
Hang all care and sorrow….”

‘The Jovial Songster, or, Sailor's Delight: a choice collection of cheerful and humourous songs, that are sung by the brave tars of old England, and other merry companions, ... including, among other diverting subjects, the sailor's description
of a hunting.’


1795 play

Courteous stranger,
Now free from danger,
And laughing at departed care and labour,
Thy cares unbending,
Thy journey ending,
Now frisk it to the merry pipe and tabor,…”

Let the tabor go bing bang,
The pipe shrilly play,
The sweet guitar go ting tang,
On Zarno's wedding day.”

‘Zorinski: a play, in three acts. As performed at the Theatre Royal, Hay-Market.’ by Thomas Morton

1795 village celebration: ‘THE SOCIABLE VILLAGE’

“…the venerable cottagers were to observe it as a jocund holiday, exempt from labour of any Kind. A pipe and tabor was to enliven the moonlight ballad…”

'The Observant Pedestrian; or, traits of the heart: in a solitary tour from Cærnarvon to London': in two volumes, by the author of The mystic cottager. 1795: Vol 1

1796 play1796'Lock and Key. Songs, Duets, and Finales, in Lock and Key, etc.' by Prince Hoare page 14

1796 play

 “… At setting sun, our labour done, We'll trip to pipe and tabor ; No store of wealth, But jocund health …”

‘Bannian Day-A Musical Entertainment, in Two Acts,’ performed at the Theatre Royal, Hay-Market; by Brewer, George

“…A procession of cottagers, preceded by a
pipe and tabor, and decked with garlands, now
arrested the general attention….”

‘The Pedlar. A Miscellany, in Prose and Verse’ by Dibdin, Charles

1797 poem [part]: 1797Hampshire Chronicle - Saturday 18 February 1797  
1797 song 1797‘The new whim of the night; or the town and country songster; (for 1797.) Containing a choice collection of the most
approved songs, sung at the Theatres Royal, Vauxhall, Sadler's Wells,
1797 play1797“Before I would follow unlawful game …, I would thrust my pipe through my tabor, chuck it into the river,
and myself after it.”
“ I shall stick to my tabor and pipe, and sing away the loss of one place, till I can whistle myself into another.”
1797 'Consisting of the most esteemed English plays. 1797: Vol 23 ' Bell's British Theatre


“…The day was fix'd, the village throng
With pipe and tabor hail the dawn ;…”

'The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine'


“IN ev’ry fertile valley
Where nature spreads the grass,
Her silly conduct rally
To ev’ry lad and lass;
Where weary reapers labour,
With Sylvia gay, be seen,
Or, to the pipe and tabor,
Light tripping o er the green…”

‘A collection of songs, selected from the works of Mr. Dibdin,
to which are added the newest and most favourite American
patriotic songs’ by Dibdin, Charles

1799 poem by Anna Seward depicting an idyllic pastoral scene:

" thine ear
    To the gay viol dinning in the dale,
    With tabor loud, and bag-pipe's rustic drone
    To merry Shearer's dance;..."

Original Sonnets on Various Subjects and Odes Paraphrased from Horace. London

1799 poem

“…While the pipes and the tabors rend the air,
Haste neighbours to the fair….”


1799 story

“...The rural pipe and tabor were placed, at Anna's request, under the shade of her beloved willow-tree—the merry notes
of music sounded, and the mountains answered to their strains….”

‘False friendship; or, nature in masquerade. A novel. Founded in truth. Consisting of letters which have actually passed between persons in fashionable life, upon the most affecting subjects. In two volumes. ‘... 1799: Vol 1


“…The pipe and tabor’s sprightly tone,
The organ s sound sonorous,
The comic bagpipe and the drone,
Shall join the swelling chorus :….”

‘A collection of songs, selected from the works of Mr. Dibdin,
to which are added the newest and most favourite American
patriotic songs’ by Dibdin, Charles


“COME here, come here, my pretty dear,
Leave business, care, and labour.
Christmas comes but once a year,
Come lads and lasses, come, and hear
My merry pipe and tabor : ..."

‘A collection of songs, selected from the works of Mr. Dibdin,
to which are added the newest and most favourite American
patriotic songs’ by Dibdin, Charles

1799 song 1799‘The Turnpike Gate; a comic opera in two acts, as performed at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden’

1800 poem 'In Ev’ry Fertile Valley'

“…Where weary reapers labours.
With Sylvia gay be seen.
Or to the pipe and tabor,
Light tripping o’er the green….”

‘The Fashionable, or, London and Country Songster.’ Number 4

1800 poem 'Your eyes have ta'en captive my heart'

"...The dance and the tabor I shun,
No rest on my pillow I find ;
Believe me, wherever I run,
Your image still dwells in my mind."

[The word tabor possibly refers to pipe and tabor music in 1800].
In 'The Strawberry Tale', published in a collection of songs "which have been sung at Public Places of Amusement", called
'The New Entertaining Frisky Songster'

1800 poem ‘WHEN I FLY T0 MEET MY LOVE’1800‘The Songster's Miscellany; or, vocal companion : being a selection of the most approved songs, duets, &c.’
1800 song 1800‘The Great Monster Song Book : the largest and best collection of songs
ever published.’

1800 historical story

“…Hugh strolled alone toward the cottage. As he approached, he heard the sound of the pipe and tabor,
and soon discovered a jovial party dancing on the green….”

'The Spirit of Turretville: or, the Mysterious Resemblance. A romance of the twelfth century: ... In two volumes.' ... 1800: Vol 1

1800 story
“…In an odd angle of the isle I found the ship in safe harborage ;…they gave us a confused account of their having seen strange shapes, heard singular hollow noises, mingled with the hum of a thousand twangling instruments, and, at intervals, the sound of a pipe and tabor….”

‘Yarns of an Old Mariner’ by Clarke, Mary Cowden

1801 song from the play ‘The Corsair’, at the Haymarket Theatre, a duet: 1801 play

1801 story

“…off struck the merry pipe and tabor, two violins, with
a cymbal and triangle, which electrical magic
drew a number of puppets on the platform…”

‘Farther Excursions of the Observant Pedestrian,
exemplified in a tour to Margate, Vol II’

1801 poem ‘THE RICH MAN & THE BEGGAR.’

“…Rich downy couches on the marble laid
Above, the silk pavilion gayly swells,
Perfumes the breeze, the damps of eve repells
Their softest notes the pipe and tabor plays
By music rivall’d from the olive spray….”

European Magazine & London Review, Vol. 40,1801

1802 ‘Characters - Egyptian Dancers’
“…They had brought with them two instruments, a pipe and tabour, and a kind of drum, made from
an earthen pot, on which the musician beat with his hands. They were seven in number- Two of them
began dancing, while the others sung…”

‘The Annual Register, or, a view of the history, politicks, and literature for the year. Volume 44 (New series), 1802’

1803 1803General Evening Post - Thursday 13 January 1803
1803 story:

“…A company of young girls now arrive, and separating Zuniida from Elerz, compel her to join in the dance.
The pipe and tabor by gay and lively airs, impart fresh spirits to the dancers, who scarcely touching the earth,
seem endowed with the power of flight. Suddenly a violent explosion is heard. Pipe, tabor, dancers all cease at once :…”

‘Women: their condition and influence in society’ by Ségur, Alexandre Joseph Pierre de, vicomte translated from French

1804 poem‘Fair Ellen of The Maniac’1804Northampton Mercury - Saturday 17 March 1804
1804 poem ‘The Naval Muse or Flights of Fancy’1804Hampshire Telegraph - Monday 25 June 1804


"And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound !
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Yo that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May."

source Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections
of Early Childhood William Wordsworth (lines 171-177)

A poem fragment by Henry Kirk White describes a Whitson celebraton:

"A day of jubilee, and oft they bear,
Commix'd along the unfrequented shore,
The sound of village dance and tabor loud,
Startling the musing ear of Solitude."

('The Poetical Works of Henry Kirk White', born in Nottingham, died from brain fever when studying at Cambridge.)

1805 poem 'The Captive Sailor' by Christian Milne1805

1805 song 'The Garland' starts:

"Hark, hark, hark, hark the merry merry pipe and tabor
lead the festive dance along
let us now forgetting labour
Haste to join the jocund throng" etc

a song by William Dixon in the form of a glee. One of "Six lively glees : for three voices NB These glees are within the compass of ladies voices"

1805 poem by Dibdin

1805The Port Folio 1805-05-25: Vol 5 Iss 20

1805 poem
‘TO *** ****, ESQ; AT *****, IN NORTH-WALES’

“…Raise, then, my friend, the genial fire,
And heap the blazing billets higher;
With plenty let thy board be crown'd
And briskly pass thy claret round,
And let the pipe and tabor sound :…”

'Miscellaneous Poetry' by Coxe, Edward

A Country View in the Neighbourhood of the Castle.
Enter A groupe of Peasants, and Dancers, with Janet,

Chorus and Dance.

“All hail to he Sun ! that gaily cheers
The cottager’s humble labor :
He works and sings, till late he hears
The ev’ning pipe and tabor ;
Then joy, so gay, concludes the day,
And pays him for his labor”

Jeff. Come, sir, move, if you please—
here comes the wedding procession of one of the villagers-
Phil. Then I’ll be off indeed.—
Farewell squire. So far, so good. [Exit,
Pipe and Tabor.
Enter Thomaso—Annie— and Peasants.
Thom. Ay, ay—dance away my lads

Enter Chorus of Peasants and Dancers .
“Come, trip it, lads and lasses gay.
And join in varied measure,
To crown our neighbour’s wedding-day
With mirth and rural pleasure.
Then trip along,
And join the song,
To crown our honest labor :
Let merry dance Our time enhance,
To fiddle, pipe, and tabor”


Trip away,
All so gay,
Pleasure ev’ry eye is read in ;
Dance so light,
This gay night,
All to hail our merry wedding
To the tabor, pipe, and fiddle.
In and out and up the middle"

'Catch him who can! : a musical farce, in two acts / performed with considerable success at the Theatre-Royal, Hay-Market' ;
written by Theodore Edward Hook, the music by Mr. Hook, Senr. By Hook, Theodore Edward


“…The day was fix'd the village throng,
With pipe and tabor, hail the dawn?
But, ah! the sprightly nuptial song,…”

‘Weekly Visitor Or, Ladies' Miscellany’ 1806-05-03: Vol 4 Iss 27


1806 song1806

Page 31 – “Pipe and Tabor

Page 32
”… Let merry dance
Our time enhance,
To fiddle, pipe, and tabor”

‘Catch Him Who Can! : a musical farce, in two acts / performed with considerable success at the Theatre-Royal, Hay-Market ; written
by Theodore Edward Hook, author of The soldier's return,
Invisible girl, &c. ; the music by Mr. Hook, Senr.’

1807 poem1807 poem

1808 from a play called 'Harlequin Bonaparte'1808 playquoted in the Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 22 November 1808
Figure of Speech: 1808 1808

1808 story

“…The pipe and tabor call forth the fawns to dance in woods…”

‘Lettres choisies de Mme de Sévigné, et français et en anglais ...
Tome premier second’

1808 song in play ‘INKLE AND YARICO’
1808‘The British Theatre;’ or, A collection of plays, which are
acted at the Theatres Royal, Drury Lane, Covent Garden,
and Haymarket .. by Inchbald, Mrs., ed


“…How soft are the colours which glow on the pile,
How bright are the clouds of the west.
I could fancy that here to the melody sweet,
Of the tabor, the pipe, and the song,…”


1809 play ‘Paul and Virginia’
"Diego. Hence, ye idle pack, away,
Instead of hard and healthy labour,
Jigging to the pipe and tabor,
Go home, go home, and work, I say"

'Songs, duets, trios, chorusses, &c. in Paul & Virginia, a musical drama, in two acts: as performed at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden.
The music composed by Mr. Mazzinghi and Mr. Reeve. 1800' by Cobb, James

1803 poem
1803'Reliques of ancient English poetry : consisting of old heroic ballads, songs, and other pieces of our earlier poets,
(chiefly of the lyric kind) : together with some few of later date' [edited by Thomas Percy]

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