Buttered Peas (1)

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X:1 T:Butter’d Pease [1] M:C| L:1/8 N:”Longways for as many as will.” B:John Walsh – Complete Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Fourth B: (London, 1740, No. 48) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G B2d2d2cB|c2e2 e4|B2d2d2cB|c2A2A4| B2d2d2cB|c2e2 e4|BcdB ABcA|B2G2G4:| |:B2d2d2ef|gfga g4|B2d2d2cB|c2A2A4| B2d2d2ef|gfga g4|BcdB ABcA|B2G2 G4:|]

BUTTERED PEAS(E) [1]. AKA - "Butter to peas." AKA and see "Caithness," "Highland Wedding (1)," "Jack's be the Daddy On't," "Reel of Stumpie," "Stumpie/Stumpey," "No Man's Jig." English; Air, Reel or Country Dance Tune. England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune can be found in James Ralph's Fashionable Lady (1730), and subsequently appeared in English ballad operas of the early 1730's such as John Gay's Achilles (1733, whose version of the words appear below), The Fashionable Lady, or Harlequin's Opera (1730), The Female Parson (1730), The Boarding School (1732), The Decoy (1733) and The Whim (1734). It became popular enough to have been transported to the Continent in the 18th century, where, for example it could be heard in Italy as "Piselli al Burro." "Buttered Pease" appears in several tune books and fiddlers' manuscripts from the 18th century. It was published by Walsh in his Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, 1731) and in a later (1754) edition of the same volume; by Johnson in (Daniel) Wright's Complete Collection of Celebrated Country Dances (London, 1740); by Charles and Samuel Thompson in their Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 2 (London, 1765); and by James Aird in vol. 1 of his Selections of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs (Glasgow, 1782). It was included in the 1790 music manuscript copybook of London musician Thomas Hammersley, and the 1747 music manuscript of Walter Rainstorp, also from (Cheapside) London, and the c. 1770 music copybook of Lincoln fiddler William Clark (No. 17, p. 10). The tune was entered into the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman under the title “Butter to peas.” Derivations (of the second strain) are the southwestern Pennsylvania-collected versions of "Drunken Sailor (2), well known by fifers and played as a march.

Angus Mackay arranged the tune for the Highland pipes and called it "Highland Wedding (1)". See Bayard's note for the Pennsylvania collected "Drunken Sailor (2)," of which this tune forms the second strain. It is arranged as a duet by W.J. Stafford in Hall & Stafford's Charlton Memorial Tune Book.

Should the Beast of the noblest race
Act the Brute of the lowest class;
Tell me which do you think most base,
Or the Lion or the Ass?

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 197, p. 68. Hall & Stafford (Charlton Memorial Tune Book), 1956; p. 53. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 623. Peacock's Tunes, c. 1805; No. 41, p. 18. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 142. Scott (English Song Book), 1926; p. 12. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 2), 1765; No. 173. Walsh (Complete Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Fourth), London, 1740; No. 48. Walsh (Caledonian Country Dances), c. 1745; p. 29. Wilson (A Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; p. 87.

Recorded sources : - Maggie's Music MMCD216, Hesperus - "Early American Roots" (1997).

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