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X:1 T:Cockleshells M:C| L:1/8 S:Henry Playford - Dancing Master, 11th Edition (London, 1701) K:F A2|F3G A2c2|A2d2 cAGF|A2G2G2 FG|A2G2G2D2| F3 G A2c2|A2d cAGF|A2D2D2C2|F2D2D2:| |:c|dcdc A2c2|dcdc A2 (GF)|A2G2G2(FG)|A2G2G2c2| dcdc A2c2|dcdc A2(GF)|A2D2D2C2|F2D2D2:||

COCKLESHELLS. AKA - "Cockle Shells." AKA and see "Gabhairín Buí (An)," "Bonny Lass of Livingston (The)," "Celebrated Set of Quadrilles - Figure 2," "Lass of Leving-stone (The)," "Clashing At Her," "High Caul Cap (The), High Caul'd Cap," "Hielan Laddie (1)," "Temple Change (2) (The)." English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was printed under this title by Henry Playford in his Dancing Master of 1701 [1] (Eleventh Edition, p. 304), and in all subsequent editions of the long-running series, through the last (18th), printed in London by John Young in 1728. "Cockleshells" was also printed by London publishers Hare and Walsh in The Compleat Country Dancing Master in editions of 1718, 1731, and 1735. It is a variant of the well-known Scottish tunes "High Caul'd Cap" and "Hielan Laddie (1)," however, the earliest version appears to be Playford's own "Lass Of Leving-stone (The)," which appears in his Collection of Original Scotch Tunes (Full of the Highland Humours), published in 1700, the year before the dance and tune appeared in his Dancing Master. See also Northumbrian musician William Vickers' version called "Clashing at Her", perhaps the title of a lost song.

Cecil Sharp, founder of the English Folk Dance Society, published the Cock-Shells tune with a different dance called "Temple Change," from the 9th edition of the Dancing Master.'

In the 1930s The Ling Association published an longways dance for four couples called "Cockle Shells" which was published with the synonymous tune discussed here in Folk Dances from many Lands (For use in Schools). The Ling Association, always light on references, says that the dance is "English". It is significantly different to the dance found in Playford's 11th edition (1701).


Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 428, p. 99. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 21. Christian (The Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 18. Elias Howe (Musician's Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 612.

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