Butterfly (2) (The)

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BUTTERFLY [2], THE. English, Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABA'. The tune is a folk-process derivation of "I'd Be a Butterfly (1)," words and melody by English dramatist and song writer Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1829). It was written in 1825 when "on his honeymoon at Lord Ashdown's, Mr. Bayly, flying from some fair sirens, retreated to a bower, and there wrote his world-famous 'I'd be a Butterfly' " (Andrew Lang, 1844-1912).

I’d be a butterfly born in a bower,
Where roses and lilies and violets meet.
Roving for ever from flower to flower,
And kissing all buds that are pretty and sweet.


Source for notated version: English collector Cecil Sharp had the tune in 1909 from fiddler William Davies, originally from Wales, but who was then a parish clerk in Winchcombe, Glocestershire. Davies played for the Winchcombe morris team. Sharp also transcribed the tune from Thomas Swallow, also a fiddler, from Lower Guiting.

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Karpeles & Schofield (A Selection of 100 English Folk Dance Airs), 1951; p. 2. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 76. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 2.

Recorded sources:




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