Bonnie Pit Laddie (The)

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X:1 T:Bonnie Pit Laddie, The M: 6/8 L:1/8 R:Air or Jig B:Abraham Mackintosh – “Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs, &c.” (c. 1805, p. 26) N:”Teacher of Dancing Newcastle-upon-Tyne” Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D V:1 A|dfd cAc|dfd cAc|e3 c3|dfd cAc|def gec|d3 D2:| |:A|def g2e|f2d faf|e3 c3|def gfe|faf gec|d3 D2:| |:A|dcB AGF|GAB cAc|e3 c3|dcB AGF|GAB cAc|d3 D2:| V:2 clef=bass z|D,2F, A,2A,,|D,2F, A,2A,,|C,2E, A,2A,,|D,2F, A,2G,|F,2D, A,2A,,|D,2A,D,,2:| |:z|F,E,D, C,2E,|D,3 D,3|A,2E, A,2G,|F,E,D, C,2E,|D,3A,2A,,|D,3D,,2:| |:A,|DCB, A,G,F,|G,A,B, CA,C|E3C3|DCB, A,G,F,|G,A,B, CA,C|D3D,2:|



BONNY PIT LADDIE, THE. AKA - "Bonny Pit Laddie," "Canny Pit Lad." AKA and see "Bonny Keel Laddie (The)." English, Air and Jig (6/8 time). England, Northumberland. D Major (Raven, Vickers): G Major (Peacock, Bruce & Stokoe). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Bruce & Stokoe, Vickers): AABBCC (Raven-Fenwick): AABBCCDDEEFFGG (Peacock). Most versions have 6-bar strains, although Northumbrian musician William Vickers' 1770 manuscript does not. The tune and verses were also entered into the c. 1812 music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician John Bell (1783-1864) as "Canny Pit Lad" [1]. Bell gives a note with the notation:

This tune is a very old one, and its original name was "The Canny Pit Lad." About [antiquarian Alfred] Ritson's time the above words were added to it, as a Song. 'Bit' is a common word in Northumberland and was used in a number of expressions, viz "a Canny Bit House," "a Canny or Bonny Bit Wife," "a Canny Bit Lass," "a Conny Bit Lad," "a Bonny Bit Lass"--

The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes, which he published c. 1800.

The bonny pit laddie, the canny pit laddie,
The bonny pit laddie for me, O!
He sits in his hole as black as a coal,
And brings the white siller to me, O! .....(Bruce & Stokoe).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - From A Tutor for the Northumbrian Small-pipes by J.W. Fenwick, published in late 1800's; "From Mrs. Thompson's Collection" (Fenwick); William Vickers' 1770 music manuscript collection [Seattle].

Printed sources : - Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 150. Abraham Mackintosh (Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs, &c.), c. 1805; p. 26. Peacock's Tunes, c. 1805; No. 39, p. 18. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 97. Seattle (Great Northern Tune Book/William Vickers), 1987, Part 2; No. 255.






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