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    The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
 traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as
                          The Fiddler's Companion.

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August 24 2019  Featured tune:           TEXAS BARBED WIRE
August 24 2019  Featured tune:           TEXAS BARBED WIRE

The Lass Of Richmod Hill

LASS OF RICHMOND HILL, THE. AKA – Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill." AKA and see "Richmond Hill (1)." English, Scottish; Country Dance Tune. F Major (Raven): D Major (Ashman, Kerr, Sumner): A Mixolydian (Ross). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Ashman): AABB (Raven, Ross): AABCC (Kerr, Sumner). Once a very popular song written by Leonard McNally (1752–1820) in honor of Frances l'Anson, born in Leyburn, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, in 1766. She was associated with Hill House, Richmond, through her maternal grandparents who had occupied the house from 1750–1768, and was the daughter of William L'Anson, a wealthy attorney of Bedford Row, London, and later of Hill House, Richmond, Yorkshire. McNally was an eloquent Irish lawyer who was involved in the political affairs of the time and who dabbled in the arts, writing several plays and some poetry. It has been said he wrote the poem in as part of a campaign to woo Frances into a marriage against the wishes of her family, and if so, he was successful for they wed in 1767. McNally's poem was set to music by composer James Hook (1746–1827), the organist at Vauxhall Gardens, and was first sung there in 1789 by Charles Benjamin Incleson, a famous tenor of the era. The song was published a year later, and became popular not only in England but America as well. Unfortunately, Frances died at the young age of 29 in Dublin, leaving a young son. McNally later remarried.

On Richmond Hill there lives a lass
More bright than May-day morn
Whose charms all other maids' surpass
A rose without a thorn.
This lass so neat, with smiles so sweet
Has won my right good will
I'd crowns resign to call thee mine
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.

Sweet lass of Richmond Hill
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill
I'd crowns resign to call thee mine
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.

Ye zephyrs gay that fan the air
And wanton thro' the grove
O whisper to my charming fair
"I die for her I love."
This lass so neat, with smiles so sweet
Has won my right good will
I'd crowns resign to call thee mine
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.

Sweet lass of Richmond Hill
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill
I'd crowns resign to call thee mine
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.

Despite his famously expressed passion for his "Sweet Lass," there was unfortunately a darker side to McNally. He became a member of the United Irishmen and, as a lawyer was called on to defend many of their members in court. His clients, however, were invariably convicted, and after his death it was discovered that he had been in the pay of the British government. It was he who betrayed Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1798) and Robert Emmet (1803).


The Lass of Richmond Hill full Score(s) and Annotations and Past Featured Tunes

The Lass of Richmond Hill
Owl Parliament (Source: SoundCloud)





X:1 T:The Lass of Richmond Hill M:2/4 L:1/8 K:F c|cfff|g/f/e/f/ gb|afdg|f2 ec| cfff|g/f/e/f/ gf|ecd=B|(c2 c):|

eccf|eccf|egba|a2 gf|

eccf|ecc'f|efge|(f2 f):|]

Who Builds The Archive
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

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