Balance the Straw (1)

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X:1 T:Ballance [sic] a Straw [1] M:C| L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune B:David Rutherford – Rutherford’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite B:Country Dances, vol. 2 (London, c. 1760, No. 27, p. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G dc|B2 B>B {Bc}d2 cB|A2 A>A A2 Bc|{Bc}d2 cB {AB}c2 BA|G2 G>G G2:| |:gf|e2 d>d d2 (3GBd|c2 B>B B2 gf|e2 d>d d2 cB|AGAB D2 dc| B2 B>B BgdB|A2 A>A A2 Bc|dgdB AcBA|G2 G>G G2:|]



BALANCE THE/A STRAW [1]. AKA and see "From the Man I Love," "Tulip (The)," "Lads a Bunchum (1)," "Captain and His Whiskers (The)." English (originally), American; Country and Morris Dance Tune (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Bacon, Ascot-Under-Wychwood): AABCC (Raven, Bledington version): AAB, CCB, CCB (Mallinson, Bledington version). The melody and title are derived from the chorus of the first and last stanzas of a popular song by James Oswald (died c. 1769), sung in the opera The Reprisal and first performed in London in 1757. The opening line contains the alternate title by which it was known--From the Man I Love--and both titles appear in period references from England and the United States. The melody was entered into the c. 1770 music copybook of fiddler William Clark of Lincoln (No. 18, p. 11). As a morris dance tune it was collected in the Ascot-under-Wychwood, Bledington, and Brackley England, areas during the latter 19th century (when most morris tunes were sought out and recorded). Ernest MacMillan identifies a tune having this title in an instrumental setting of 1759, though the melody is unrelated to the one here referenced, being clearly a version of "Wearing of the Green."

There are some similarities between "Balance a Straw [1]" and a march known variously as "Sir Barry Denny's March," "Inverary March," and "O'Brien of Arra," however, there may not be cognate relationship.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Bacon (The Morris Ring), 1974; pp. 21, 93, & 104. Mallinson (Mally's Cotswold Morris Book), vol. 2 (Bledington version), 1988; No. 21, p. 12. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 80. David Rutherford (Rutherford’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 2), c. 1760 (variously dated); No. 28, p 14.






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