Bonny Breast Knot (1) (The)

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BONNY BREAST KNOT(S) [1], THE. AKA and see "Breast Knot (The)," "Bonny Breist Knots," "Daddy Shot a Bear" (Pa.), "Jaybird" (Pa.), "Ladies Briest Knot/Lady's Breast Knots," "Looking Glass," "Pennsylvania Fifers (The)" (Pa.), "Snood (The)." English, Reel or Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). England, Northumberland. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Barnes): AABB (Kennedy, Raven). The country dance "Bonny Breast Knots" has been known since about 1770, according to Flett & Flett (1964), and long had a special place at Scottish weddings. Up until about 1900 in Roxburghshire and West Berwickshire, Scotland, it was always performed as the first dance after the wedding supper, with the bride and groom leading off with the best man and bridesmaid. Its status in the wedding rituals may be what is referred to in the song "The Briest Knots," quoted by Flett & Flett:

'Syne off they got a' wi' a fling,
Each lass unto her lad did cling,
And a' cry'd for a different spring,
The bride she sought the breast-knot.

There are versions of "Bonny Breast Knot" from Sussex and from Devon, both dissimilar to each other.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 71, p. 25. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Kennedy (Fiddlers Tune Book), vol. 1, 1951; No. 47, p. 23. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 166.

Recorded sources: Antilles (Island) AN-7003, Kirkpatrick & Hutchings - "The Compleat Dancing Master" (1973).




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