About the Bush, Willy

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ABOUT/ABOOT THE BUSH, WILLY. English, Air (6/4 time). England, Northumberland. B Flat Major (Bruce & Stokoe): D Major (Bell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bruce & Stokoe): AABB (Bell). The air and words were entered into the c. 1812 music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician John Bell [1] (1783–1864). Modern researcher Matt Seattle notes it is a 'light-hearted song' and thinks it may have originated as a children's song. Bruce & Stokoe (1882) reprint Bell's song lyric, which begins:

Aboot the bush Willy, Aboot the beehive,
Aboot the bush Willy, I'll meet the belyve.
Then to my ten shillings, Add you but a groat,
I'll go to Newcastle, And buy a new coat.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 110.

Recorded sources:




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