Bonny Sweet Robin
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BONNY SWEET ROBIN. AKA and see "My Robin is to the Greenwood Gone." Irish, English; Air. D Dorian (Chappell): A Minor (Barnes). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. According to Flood (1906) and Chappell (1859), the tune dates from the 16th century and is referred to by Shakespeare in Hamlet when Ophelia sings:
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
The original ballad lyrics have been lost, but the air is mentioned as the vehicle for a Christmas carol in 1642, and for a ballad entered at Stationers' Hall in April, 1593. Grattan Flood, as par course, claims the tune's provenance as Irish, and Chappell as English. It is sometimes attributed to Thomas Simpson (1582-1630) or to Holborne. See note for "My Robin is to the Greenwood Gone" for more.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 128 (appears as "Ten for the Ten Commandments", the name of a dance by Fried de Metz Herman set to the tune).
Recorded sources: Harmonia Mundi 907101, The King's Noyse - "The King's Delight: 17c. Ballads for Voice and Violin Band" (1992).