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Welcome to the Traditional Tune Archive
The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as
The Fiddler's Companion.


Featured tune:           MAD MOLL (aka The Peacock Followed The Hen)

William Hogarth, The Dance

AKA - "Lane's Maggot." AKA and see “Polly for ever,” “Richmond Ball,” "Round (The)." English, Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A maggot is another term for a dram; a unit of liquid measure, and also meant a small thing of little consequence or a plaything; from the Italian maggioletta. Maggots were longways country dances of the late 17th century often dedicated to a personage or named for a composer; they appear for the first time in the 9th edition of the Dancing Master (1695). "Mr. Lane's Maggot" is attributed to Mr. Lane who was dancing master to Charles II, who also composed or is associated with Playford's "Lane’s Minuet" and "Mr. Lane's Trumpet Minuet (1)" and "Mr. Lane's Trumpet Minuet (2)."
The tune appears in Pepys V, circa 1690. William Vickers prints a major-mode version in his 1770 music manuscript collection under the title “Richmond Ball.” “Mr. Lane’s Maggot” first appears in print in Henry Playford’s Dancing Master, 9th edition (London, 1695) and in all subsequent editions of the Dancing Master through the end of the series with the 18th and final edition in 1728 (at that time published by John Young). Playford (1695) notes that it is "A Song made by Mr. Tho. D'Ursey upon a new country dance at Richmond, called, Mr. Lane's Magot." Young gives the alternate title “Richmond Ball” in the 17th and 18th editions (1721 & 1728, respectively). It was published by Thomas D’Urfey in Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy, vol. 2 (p. 218, 1719, as the indicated tune for the song "The Richmond Recreation: or, The Royal Dance of Delight"), and in the various editions of London publisher John Walsh's Complete Country Dancing Master, beginning in 1718 (followed by editions of 1731 and 1754) as "Lane's Maggot." The tune was used as a vehicle for a broadside ballad by Thomas D'Urfey called "Strike up drousy guts-scrapers", "upon a new Country Dance at Richmond called Mr. Lane's Maggot":

Strike up Drowsie Guts Scrapers
Gallants be ready
Each with his lady...
I'll teach you all the dance.
Cast Off, Tom, behind Johnny
Do the same Nanny
Eyes are upon ye;
Trip in between
Little Dicky and Jane
And Set in the Second Row;
Then cast back you must too,
And up the first row
Nimbly thrust through;
Then, then turn about
To the left, or you're out
And meet with your Love below.
Pass, then cross
Then Jack's Pretty Lass
Then turn her about, about and about,
And Jack if you can do so too
With Betty, whilst the Time is true,
We'll all your ear commend.
Still there's more
To lead all four;
Two by Nancy stand
And give her your hand
Then cast her quickly down below
And meet her in the second Row
The Dance is at an End.

A more sophisticated employment of the melody was by Francesco Barsanti as the subject in the allegro section of his Overture in A minor, Op. 4 no. 1 for string quartet and keyboard (optional), published in Edinburgh around 1745. Barsanti spent much of his professional life in London and in Edinburgh, although he was particularly esteemed in the northern capital. Several of his overtures quote popular tunes of the day.


MR. LANE MAGGOT full Score and Annotations and Past Featured Tunes



X:1 % T:Lane’s Maggot M:C| L:1/8 N:”Longways for as many as will.” B:John Walsh – Complete Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Fourth B:(London, 1740, No. 84) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Dmin a4g4|f2gf e2A2|de fg e2A2|de fg e2A2| a2ba g2ag|f2gf e2A2|de fg e2^c2|d8|| F2A2F2A2|F2A2F2A2|A2 GA F2A2|A2 GA F2A2| FGAG FGAG|FGAG FGAf|e2d2e2^c2|d8||

Why TTA Who builds the Archive

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.


This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.

Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni


Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
Above all, the developers wish you joy in the use of the TTA.


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Help Getting started

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  • Tune Books/Magazines in the TTA can be accessed under “Issues” in the left side bar. These are reproductions of publications for which access has been granted to the TTA by the copyright holder, under the Creative Commons license.