Devil in the Bush

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DEVIL IN THE BUSH, THE English, Country Dance Tune (cut time and 6/4). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. The melody appears in all four editions of London publisher John Young's The Second Volume of the Dancing Master [1], beginning with the first edition of 1710 and ending with the fourth edition of 1728. It also was contained in rival London publishers Walsh and Hare's The Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (1719) and in their subsequent editions of 1735 and 1749. London musician Thomas Hammersley entered it into his 1790 music manuscript copybook, giving the alternate title "Walton Abbey," the name of a similar tune in the Playford volumes.

The title may refer to 'devil-in-a-bush' (also called Love in the Mist or Ragged Lady), an "easily-grown plant has been a familiar subject in English cottage gardens since Elizabethan times, admired for its ferny foliage, spiky flowers and bulbous seed-heads" [2].

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