Croppy Boy (2) (The)
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CROPPY BOY , THE. AKA and see "Robber (The)," "Callino Casturame," "Charlie Reilly," "Newlyn Town." Irish, Air (3/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "This song was a great favourite in the southern and south-eastern counties: and I have known both air and words from my childhood. I published the air and the first verse of the song in my Ancient Irish Music. More than 50 years ago I gave it to Dr. Petrie, and it is included in the Stanford-Petrie collection. I have a broadsheet with the words rudely and very incorrectly printed. The words, of course, date from 1798: but the air is much older" (Joyce). Tomas Ó Canainn (1978) names this air as "the very first genuinely Irish tune" that appears in early collections, and cites its appearance in both William Ballet's Lute Book (Trinity College, Dublin) and the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (Cambridge) where it appears under the title "Callino Casturame" (Cailin o chois tSiuire me). O'Sullivan (1983) notes the melody was popular in England also, and variants appear in many folksong collections from that country, including Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (as "Newlyn Town," No. 326) and Kidson's 1926 A Garland of English Folk Songs (beginning "In Newlyn town I was born and bred).
'Twas early, early, all in the spring,
The pretty small birds began to sing;
They sang so sweet and so gloriously,
And the tune they played was sweet liberty.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Song), 1909; No. 385, p. 193.