Bristol Lasses

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BRISTOL LASSES. AKA and see "Merry Girls of Bristol." English, Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The name Bristol (Glouchestershire) is an Anglo-Saxon name, given as Bricgstow in 1063, 'the meeting place by the bridge.' It was an important Saxon town, having its own mint, and later became England's second port. Eleanor of Brittany, the granddaughter of Henry II, was confined by king John in 1203 at various castles in the area and remained a prisoner for thirty-nine years until her death at Bristol Castle. Queen Elizabeth I visited Bristol in 1574 and remarked that the Church of St. Mary's was the "fairest and goodliest" church in the land.

The tune appears in London publisher Charles and Samuel Thompson's 18th century collections as "Merry Girls of Bristol (The)" as well as Northumbrian musician William Vickers' 1770 music manuscript collection [1] (where it is given as "Bristol Lasses").

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Seattle (Great Northern/William Vickers), 1987, Part 3; No. 526.

Recorded sources:




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