Annotation:Country Bumpkin

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X:1 T:Country Bumkin [sic] M:6/4 L:1/8 R:Country Dance B:John Walsh - Caledonian Country Dances (c. 1745, p. 85) N:Published in several volumes and different editions, 1731-c. 1745) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G c6 B6|A2B2G2 F3ED2|G4G2 B2A2B2|G4G2 B2A2B2| c6B6|A2B2G2 F4f2|g4d2 e2d2c2|B6 G6||

COUNTRY BUMPKIN. AKA - "Country Bumkin." AKA and see "Bab at the Bowster," "Babbity Bowster," "Old Country Bumpkin (The)," "Who Learned You to Dance and a Towdle." Scottish, Country Dance Tune and Jig (6/4 or 6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Walsh): AABBCC (McLachlan): AA'BB'CC'. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest printing of the tune in Neil Stewart's 1761 A Collection of the Newest and Best Reels or Country Dances (p. 71), although John Walsh's publication (c. 1745) predates it. There are similarities to "Elsie Marley. Several dances were called "Country Bumpkin," perhaps the most prominent being The Bumpkin or The Ninesome Reel that was a type of cushion dance (See note for "annotation:Babbity Bowster" for more). One Country Bumpkin dance for nine people is meticulously described in William Campbell's c. 1799 14th collection (p. 19). Researcher Paul Cooper notes that "It's effectively a Reel of Nine (six ladies and three men), with the added complication of a hat being passed between the men at various points in the dance. This is an unusually early publication in which to find the Bumpkin described, it could be the first such publication in England, though it's almost certainly of Scottish origin"[1].

"Country Bumpkin" was entered into several English musicians' manuscript collections of the 18th and 19th centuries, including those of the Winder Family (Wrysdale, Cumbria), Rev. Henry Harrison (Cumbria), John Roose (c. 1850, Manchester) and the 1850 music manuscript of shoemaker and fiddler William Winter, of Bagborough, Somerset, southwest England. Some versions are in two strains, and some in three, with the second strain showing the most variation.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - William Campbell (Campbell’s 14th Book of New and Favorite Country Dances & Strathspey Reels for the Harp, Piano-Forte & Violin, with their Proper Figures, as Danced at Court, Bath, Williss’s, & Hanover Square Rooms), Soho, London, c. 1799; p. 18. John McLachlan (Piper’s Assistant), 1854; No. 99, p. 60. Walsh (Caledonian Country Dances), c. 1745; p. 85. Thomas Westrop (120 Country Dances), c. 1860's; No. 60. Geoff Woolfe (William Winter's Quantocks Tune Book), 2007; No. 17, p. 20.

See also listing at :
Read Paul Cooper’s excellent research article “The Dance Collections of William Campbell”, active from c. 1778 to c. 1815, at Regency Dances [1].

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  1. Paul Cooper, “The Dance Collections of William Campbell”, at Regency Dances [2].