Bonnie Kate (2)

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BONNIE KATE (POLKA) [2]. AKA and see "Black Legs." English; Polka or Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). G Major (Carlin, Callaghan): A Major (Ashover, Barnes). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was first published in John Johnson's Two Hundred Favourite Country Dances, vol. 8 (London, 1758) under the title "Bonny Kate" (p. 46). It was of course not originally a polka but rather a common-time vehicle for a country dance, however, it has been popularized in modern times as a polka by the New Victory Band and others. As "Bonny Cate" or "Bonny Kate" it appears in several English musicians' manuscripts from the 18th century including the Harrison and Wall manuscript from the village of Ashover, Derbyshire, dated 1762. It also appears in the William Clarke manuscript (Lincoln, 1770) as "Black Leggs or Bonny Cate," and in the Thomas Hammersley manuscript (London, 1790) as "Black Leggs." "Bonny Kate" appears in the American commonplace book of flute player Henry Beck (1786), now housed in the Library of Congress.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986 (appears as "Bonnie Cate"). Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 30. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 2, p. 15.

Recorded sources: Topic 12TS382, New Victory Band- "One More Dance and Then" (1978. Learned from the Ashover Collection of Harrison & Wall). Topic TSCD 752, New Victory Band - "Stepping Up" (2004. Compilation CD).

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