Boston Fancy (1)

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BOSTON FANCY [1]. AKA and see "Lamplighter's Hornpipe (1)." New England, Reel. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Burchenal prints a dance called "Boston Fancy" to this tune, which tune was more familiarly known to her by that title rather than its usual one ("Lamplighter's Hornpipe"). A "Boston Fancy" was in the repertoire of Maine fiddler Mellie Dunham, who was Henry Ford's champion in the late 1920's; the name was that of the dance, however, for when he recorded it under the above title for Victor in 1926 (Vi 20001), the tune was in fact "Tempest (The)." However, Dunham apparently played another tune called "Boston Fancy (3)," which appears in his 1926 book Mellie Dunham's Fiddlin' Dance Tunes. It may be either the record company or publishing company may have miss-named the tune. Apparently either a version of the dance or tune "Boston Fancy" was also called "Lady Walpole Reel (1)." It has been suggested (by, for one, Louie W. Attebery in his article "The Fiddle Tune: An American Artifact" {1979}) that the name change from "Lady Walpole's Reel" to Boston Fancy" came about due to anti-British sentiments during the War of 1812. At any rate, it seems that some of the confusion may stem from the fiddler's practice of playing a variety of serviceable tunes for a particular dance, so that the tune often was called by the name of the dance he/she was wont to play it for; thus there are a number of "Boston Fancy" tunes.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Burchenal (American Country Dances, vol. 1), 1917; p. 39.

Recorded sources:




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