Dennis Bulgruddery

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DEN(N)IS BULLYRUDDERY/BULGRUDDERY. English, Air (6/8 time). D Major (Ashman): G Major (Howe). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. This song, according to a note in The New Musical and Vocal Cabinet of 1820, was written by George Colman, set to the tune by Charles Dibdin, and "sung by Mr. (John) Johnstone," referring to an actor and singer in the production of Colman's comic play John Bull (in which Dennis Bulgruddery is a character). It belongs to the "Derry down" song category (from the burden which always begins "Derry down,...") that also includes "A Cobbler There Was" and a great many others. The song is comical--albeit sometimes despised for its stereotyping--and begins:

I was born once at home, when my mother was out,
In her reck'ning, an accident brought it about;
As for family honours and such kind of fun,
Though some boast of forefathers, yet I had but one.

Cho: Derry down, down, down, derry down.

In America, it can be found in the 1801-1825 music copybook of musician John Beach (Gloucester, Mass.).

Source for notated version: a c. 1837-1840 MS by Shropshire musician John Moore [Ashman].

Printed sources: Ashman (The Ironbridge Hornpipe), 1991; No. 107a, p. 44. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 114.

Recorded sources:




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