Catches and Glees
X:1 T:Catches and Glees L:1/8 M:6/8 B:McGlashan - Collection of Scots Measures (c. 1780, p. 2) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D dfa afd|ged cBA|dfa afd|gec d3:| |:ged cBA|ged cBA|afd afd|gec d3:||
CATCHES AND GLES (Glees). Scottish, Northumbrian; Jig. D Major (Keller/Bush, McGalshan. Wilson): C Major (Straight & Skillern, Thompson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A country dance to this tune appeared in Charles and Samuel Thompson's Twenty Four Country Dances (London, 1769), and the melody and dance were printed together in their Compleat Collection, vol. 3 (London, 1773). It next appears in Straight and Skillern's Two Hundred and Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1 (London, 1775), and Skillern's Compleat Collection of Two Hundred and Four Reels...Country Dances (London, 1780). A number of musicians' manuscript collections on both sides of the Atlantic contain the tune, including those of Ensign Thomas Molyneaux, 6th Regiment (Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 1788), Captain George Bush (America, 1779), and William Brown (Romford, England, 1797). "Catches and Glees" is one of the "missing tunes" of William Vickers' 1770 Northumbrian dance tune manuscript.
The title probably refers to the 'Catch', or a canon for three or more voices (where a great deal of skill was needed by the singers for each voice to 'catch' up his part at the right point) which was very popular in the 17th century. Some of the best texts of the catch at this later time, according to Pulver (1923), were constructed so that the entries of the different singers resulted in amusing and often suggestive or risqué word-combinations.