Cheerily and Merrily (1)

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CHEERILY AND MERRILY [1]. AKA and see "Lucina," "Merrily and Cheerily," "Mr. Webb's Fancy." English, Jig. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. This tune can be found printed in John Playford's first English Dancing Master (1651) as "Cheerily and merrily, or Mr. Webb's Fancy." It was retained in all eighteen editions of the long-running Dancing Master series, through the last of 1728, published at the time by John Young, heir to the Playford publishing concerns. The spelling of the title varies, but the tune and dance instructions are the same.

The "Mr. Webb" of the alternate title may have been William Webb, a songwriter, who lived from around 1600 to sometime after 1656. Webb was a town wait and on the fringes of the English court, elevated to a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal sometime in the 1630's through 1641. He is valued for his tuneful partsongs. Playford may have come into contact with him through his publication of some of his songs in the series Select Ayres and Dialogues, started in 1652 (as Select Musicall Ayres, etc.), in which Webb had set the poems of William Lawes. Under the title "Lucina" or "Merrily and Cheerily," points out Graham Christian (2015, p. 16), the melody was the vehicle for various English Civil War era ballads in support of both Royalists and Parliamentarians.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barlow (Compleat Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; p. 19. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes vol. 2), 2005; p. 18. Christian (The Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 16. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 45 (reprint of the Playford original). Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 22.

Recorded sources:

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