Aerial Flight (The)

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X:1 T:Aerial Flight, The M:C L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune B:Bland & Weller - Favorite Country Dances, Hornpipes & Reels (1803, No. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C g|{f}e2 dc GBce|fdec fdec|{f}e2 dc GBcd|egde c/c/c c:| |:f|ecce fddf|ecgc (B/c/d) BG|ecce fdgf|ecdB c2c:|]

AERIAL FLIGHT, THE. English, Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. There are two other tunes in Bland and Weller's 1803 volume that refer to the exploit of French parachutist André-Jacques Garnerin, "Parachute (The)" and "Garnerins Waltz." Perhaps this tune as well was named after his exploit (for which see note to "Parachute (The)").

Garnerin and his wife were touring England in 1802 during the Peace of Amiens. André-Jacques ascended in his balloon from the Volunteer Ground in Grosvenor Square and made a parachute descent to a field near St Pancras. The feat was much celebrated, including in a popular doggerel that went:

Bold Garnerin went up
Which increased his Repute
And came safe to earth
In his Grand Parachute.

He also made his second English balloon ascent with Edward Hawke Locker on 5 July, 1802, from Lord's Cricket Ground, traveling the 17 miles from there to Chingford in just over 15 minutes and carrying a letter of introduction signed by the Prince Regent to give to anyone should he crash land.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Bland & Weller (Favorite Country Dances, Hornpipes & Reels), 1803; No. 14.

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