Dear Tobacco

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DEAR TOBACCO. English, Reel. England, Northumberland. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. 'Dear Tobacco' in the sense of expensive or hard-to-obtain tobacco. The melody also appears in the music manuscript book of fiddler John Fife. Fife, who was apparently originally from Perthshire, makes references to Scotland and the sea (e.g. battles in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean), and may have spent time as a sailor. He began his collection around 1780 and continued adding to it for some twenty-five years. Other manuscript versions appear in the John Hall ms. (1833), and the Matthew Bethem ms. (Towcett, Lakes district).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hall & Stafford (Charlton Memorial Tune Book), 1956; p. 20. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 179.

Recorded sources: The Boat Band - "A Trip to the Lakes" (set as a polka).

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