Black Legs

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BLACK LEGS. AKA and see "Bonnie Kate (2)." English, Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. 'Black Legs' was a term for "a gambler or sharper on the turf or in the cockpit: so called, perhaps, from their appearing generally in boots; or else from game-cocks whose legs are always black" [Grose, The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue]. The tune is well-known to English trad. musicians in modern times as the polka "Bonny Kate," popularized by New Victory Band and others. The tune appears as "Black Leggs" in the Thomas Hammersley manuscript (1790, London) and as "Black Leggs or Bonny Cate" in the William Clarke manuscript (1770, Lincoln). See note for "Bonnie Kate (2)."

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