Annotation:Bow Wow Wow

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X:1 T:Bow wow wow M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air S:John Rook music manuscript collection (1840, p. 37) N:Rook was a multi-instrumentalist from Waverton, near Wigton, Cumbria Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G D2|G2 G>G|G2 G>G|A>A d>c|B>A Gz/G/|A>A A>A| A2 A>A|dd e>g|f>ed>g|g2 {g}fe|{f}edcB| c2 c>e|d>c Bz/A/|AGGA|B2 AG|GEAG| {G}F2 E>D|G2G2|G2z2|d2 e>f|gedc|[G2c2]G2|G2z2||

BOW WOW WOW. AKA and see "Barking Barber (The)." English, Air (2/4 time). G Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The song was sung by Mr. John Edwin (the elder) in John O'Keeffe's play first published as Patrick in Prussia; or, love in a camp, staged at Covent Garden in February, 1786. The song with music was printed in Walker's Hibernian Magazine (1786).

I'll sing you a song faith I'm singing of it now here,
I don't mean to 'front either small or big "Bow Wow Wow" here;
The subject I've chosen, it is the Canine race,
To prove, like us "Two-legg'd Dogs", they are a very fine race,
"Bow, wow, wow", Fal-lal-de, id-dy, id-dy, "Bow, wow, wow."

The name or word 'bow-wow' in popular culture predates the 1786 song, however. At Dublin's Smock Alley on May 19, 1732, a short-lived piece in ballad opera form called Johnny Bow-wow; or, The Wicked Gravedigger was performed. It was based on a real individual, whose name is lost to history, who had been jailed for stealing corpses out of graveyards for medical students' use. He suffered transportation a few weeks later for his entrepreneurial venture.

The title (as "Bow Wow") appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes, which he published c. 1800. See also Annotation:Gumbo Chaff, an American minstrel song that may have been based on "Bow Wow Wow."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Howe (Musician's Omnibus No. 3), c. 1865; p. 234. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 161. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 71.

Recorded sources: -

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