Captain with His Whiskers (The)

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X:1 T:Captain and His Whiskers M:4/4 L:1/8 S:Howe - 1000 Jigs and Reels (c. 1867) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G GA | B2 BB B2cB | BAAA A2 Bc | d2 cB dcBA | AGGG G2 :| gf | eccc c2 ge | dBBB B2 dB | cAAA A2 cA | G2G2z2 ||

CAPTAIN WITH HIS WHISKERS, THE. AKA and see "Month of May (The)," "Captain and His Whiskers (The)." English, Morris Dance Tune (4/4 or 2/2 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB x7, A (Mallinson): AABA (Howe). A comic music hall song by Thomas Haynes Bayley (c. 1820), with music by Sidney Nelson, that found its way into traditional dance accompaniment and military use. It begins:

As they marched down this way to the foot of the street,
The band began to play and the music was so sweet,
My heart it was enlisted and I could not get it free,
For the Captain with his whiskers took a sly glance at me.

The morris version is from the village of Brackley, Northamptonshire, England. The following ditty was sung by the morris dancers during the performance of the dance:

Oh! I wish he'd do it now,
Oh! I wish he'd do it now,
Oh! the captain with his whiskers,
Oh! I wish he'd do it now.

The above appears to come from a bawdy song to the same tune called "I Wish They'd Do it Now," which begins "I was born of Geordie parents, one day when I was young..." The tune and title were widely known in tradition in America: it was in the repertoire of fiddler and Confederate veteran Arnold A. Parrish (Willow Springs, Wake County, N.C.), as recorded by the old newspaper Raleigh News and Observer. Parrish was a contestant at fiddler's conventions held in Raleigh prior to World War I. The title also appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by folklorist/musicologist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. A strain of the tune was used in Ira Ford's "Old-Fashioned Schottische." See also note for "Good Lager Beer."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Cecil Sharpe, and Dr. Kenworthy Schofield from Blackwell & Giles, 1937 [Bacon].

Printed sources : - Bacon (Handbook of Morris Dances), 1974; pp. 100 & 104. Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), 1861; p 78. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 33. Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Dec. 1955. Mallinson (Mally's Cotswold Morris Book, vol. 1), 1988; No. 27, p. 19. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 81. Westrop (120 Country Dances ... for the Violin), c. 1923; No. 51.

Recorded sources: -

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