Calder Fair

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X:1 T:Oh Crowel, or Calder Fair M:C| L:1/8 S:John Rook music manuscript collection (Waverton, Cumbria, 1840, p. 211) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G f|(g>f)ed e<g B>c|d>edB d2 d/e/f|g>fed e/f/g B2|A>Bcd (e2e):| d|dgg>f g2 gf|eaag a2 ga|bagf gfed|(eg)(fa) g2 (ge)| dggg g2 gg|eaaa a2 ga|bagf gfed|e/f/g f/g/a g3||

CALDER FAIR. AKA and see "Cawdor Fair," "Do Boys Do," "Hawthorne Tree (The)," "Sing a Song of Sixpence" or "Song of Sixpence." Scottish, Irish, English; Reel or Highland Scottische. England; Lincolnshire, Shropshire. D Major (Kennedy, Raven): F Major (Hardings): G Major (Ashman, Howe, Kershaw). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AABBCCAABB (Howe). Calder Fair was a cattle, hiring and settling market. Calder is the old name for Cawdor (see "Cawdor Fair"). Lady Nairne wrote lyrics, called "Bonnie ran the Burnie doon," set to the ancient tune of "Calder Fair," although the melody is better known in Scotland as "The Hawthorne Tree of Cawdor" (see note for that tune for more info.). John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies, 1900) maintains that the tune was carried across the border to England in the reign of Charles I, where it became popular. Both Glen (1900) and Chappell (1859) reference a song from the Ashmolean manuscript called "Ballad on a Scottish Courtship" the ballad being named "By the border side as I did pass." It is from Captain Ashmole who held a commission under Charles I in the English civil war, who noted it down from hearing it sung. Glen thought the words were "from his own pen, as it is evident no Scotsman would sing such nonsense to his lass..." Ashmole employed a variant of the melody, although in 6/8 time (see abc's below).

The melody is in the music manuscript collections of John Rook (Waverton, Cumbria, 1840), County Cork cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman (mid-19th cent.), and in the mid-19th century music manuscript of William Winter (1774-1861), a shoemaker and violin player who lived in West Bagborough in Somerset, southwest England. It was also entered in the ms. of Thomas Sands (possibly from Lincolnshire), the latter dated March 12th, 1810, with the note:

If you had followed wisdom as I have followed care,
You'd never have lost your maidenhead by going to Calder Fair!

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - a c. 1837–1840 MS by Shropshire musician John Moore [Ashman]; contained in the 19th century Joseph Kershaw Manuscript-Kershaw was a fiddle player who lived in the remote area of Slackcote, Saddleworth, North West England, who compiled his manuscript from 1820 onwards, according to Jamie Knowles [Kershaw]; the 1823–26 music mss of papermaker and musician Joshua Gibbons (1778–1871, of Tealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Wolds), where the tune is set for three instruments [Sumner].

Printed sources : - Ashman (Ironbridge Hornpipe), 1991; No. 26b, p. 7. Clinton (Gems of Ireland), 1841; No. 41, p. 21. Harding's All Round Collection, 1905; No. 13, p. 4. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 126. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book, vol. 1), 1951; No. 46, p. 23. The Joseph Kershaw Manuscript, 1993; No. 43. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 177. Riley (Flute Melodies, vol. 1), 1814; p. 80. Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 4. Wilson (A Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; p. 64. Geoff Woolfe (William Winter’s Quantocks Tune Book), 2007; No. 346, p. 122 (ms. originally dated 1850).

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