Dol-li-a

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DOL-LI-A. English, Air (4/4 time). England, Northumberland. G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Northumbrian musician John Bell (1783-1864) printed two airs to the words, the second of which he found in Topliff's Melodies of Northumberland and Durham (18). Bell noted that he thought the Topliff air was the correct one for the words. Researcher Matt Seattle explians (in notes at the FARNE site [1]) the song lyric refers to regiments billeted in Newcastle in the early 1790's. "The 'Black Cuffs'," he notes, "refer to the North York Militia and the 'Green Coats' to the Ulster Dragoons. 'Ride upon the baggage cart' means to follow the Army wherever it happens to go."

Fresh aw cum frae Sandgate Street,
Dol-li, dol-li,
My best friends here to meet,
Dol-li-a,
Do-li the dillen dol,
Dol-li, dol-li
Dol-li the dillen dol,
Dol-li-a.

The Black cuffs is gawn away,
Dol-li, dol-li,
An that will be a crying day,
Dol-li, dol-li,
Dolly Coxon's pawn'd sark
Dol-li, dol-li,
To ride upon the baggage cart,
Dol-li, dol-li,
The Green cuffs is cummin in,
Dol-li, dol-li,
An that 'ill make the lasses sing.
Dol-li-a,
Do-li the dillen dol,
Dol-li, dol-li
Dol-li the dillen dol,
Dol-li-a. ..... (John Bell).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 117.

Recorded sources:




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