Watch Where You're Shooting, Jimmy Walls
The tune clearly alludes to the story about a local fisherman, Jimmy Walls, who accidentally shot his arm off while trying to shoot pigeons off the roof of his hut in 1897. Like the Gaynor Leigh tune, Shooting Pigeons, the second part of the piece imitates the call of a pigeon, although with slightly less rhythmic accuracy than Leigh's piece. Fitting the pigeon's call into a 2/2 framework does make the piece easier to dance to, but there is nothing to suggest a solo piper playing without dancers would not have taken artistic licence to change the rhythm into more of a reproduction rather than a representation.
There has been some controversy over the Jimmy Walls story, as the Glendenning archive states it Walls blew his own arm off, but a report in the Monmouthshire Beacon claims that Walls blew his friend Ryder's arm off. In any case, this would not be the only such mishap at Seaton Snook - as reported in the Northern Evening Mail, George Shore was killed in an accident on the Seaton Snook rifle range in 1870. However, we cannot find any other mention of a rifle range at Seaton Snook prior to the arrival of the RAF station.
The existence of song called "Look Where You're Shootin', Jimmy Walls" is mentioned by People's Mass singer George Brallisford in his 1964 interview for Beat International.
The piece also appears to be quoted in Gaynor Leigh's piece for harpsichord, The Crofter's Dream, written in 1910. This raises the question over the authorship of this piece. Booth may have taken the melody from Leigh, Leigh may have taken Booth's later melody and written it earlier, or both composers may have simply used an existing folk song.
We are deliberately not being quick to accuse Booth of plagiarising Leigh's work, as our investigations have already shown Time to occasionally behave in a non-linear fashion, especially in matters of sound and music. Jules Braun's Indoor Market recording is a good example of this
NOTES ON THE PIECE
Northumbrian Smallpipe characteristic:
Diatonic transposition in bars 1-4 and 9-14 [blue boxes]
Ends on Supertonic (A or Rey) [purple circles]