Chevy Chase (1)

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X:2 T:Chevy Chase [1] L:1/8 M:6/8 S:D'Urfey - Pills to Purge Melancholy B:Chappell - Popular Music of the Olden Times (1859) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G d|c2B A2D|F2G A2B|c2d e2d|(c3 c2) c|B2A B2c|ded A2B|c2d B2A|(G3G3)||



CHEVY CHASE. AKA and see "Derwentwater's Farewell," "Flying Flame," "Lord Derwentwater," "Never Love Thee More." English, Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The ballad is referred to as far back as Elizabethan times. As to the 'correct' music for "Chevy Chase," Chappell (1859) states that several tunes were printed to the ballad of that name; these tunes themselves had alternate names in many cases, and, further confusing the issue, later ballads were directed to be sung to the tune of "Chevy Chase" so that often it is not known exactly which of the many tunes is being referred to. See Chappell's note for the tune for a detailed explanation. A "Chevy Chase" air was published by John Gay in his The Beggar's Opera (1729). Williamson's recorded version is from a mid-17th century manuscript from the Edinburgh University Library, printed by Ritson, 1783 (Williamson repeats each half of the printed melody, as it seemed to him a more likely fit for the ballad tune).

Historically, Chevy Chase refers to the Battle of Otterburn (1388), the scene of a Border affray between Percy, Lord of Newcastle and the Border chieftain Douglas, in which Percy was defeated. The battle is also called the Chase of the Cheviot, because the plunder raid on England which Douglas jokingly described as a hunt (or chase) involved crossing the Cheviot Hills in northern England, hence the title. "This melody has been played by Northumbrian small-pipe players from time immemorial as the air to which the old ballads of Chevy Chase were sung. It is regarded as 'the gathering tune' of the ancient and noble house of Perry, and is played by the Duke of Northumberland's piper on all public and festive occasions. Tradition is certainly in its favour as the correct Chevy Chase melody and an original small-pipe tune" (Bruce & Stokoe). Two different "Chevy Chase" airs (one AKA "Derwentwater's Farewell") were entered into the c. 1812 music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician John Bell [1] (1783-1864).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book V), 1760; p. 31. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 69.

Recorded sources: -



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Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Flying Fish FF358, Robin Williamson - "Legacy of the Scottish Harpers, vol. 1."




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