Doubtful Shepherd

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DOUBTFUL SHEPHERD. English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Morrison): AABBB (Barnes). The country dance tune dates to at least the year 1780 when it appears in Thompson's Compleat Collection of 200 Country Dances, vol. 4, published by Charles and Samuel Thompson. Bruce Olson also finds it in Bride's Favourite Collection of 200 Country Dances, Cotillons and Allemands, published by Robert Bride, although the date of publication is unclear, but no earlier than 1773. There appears a song "The Doubtful Shepherd," also called "When Delia on the plain appears," printed on a single-sheet published in Salisbury around the year 1775; country dance tunes often derived from popular single sheet ballads. "Doubtful Shepherd" appears in the music manuscript collection of the Browne family, local Northumbrian musicians, from the early 19th century. There was also a song from the period called "The Doubtful Shepherd," published on various song-sheets, however it is set to a different melody.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Morrison (Twenty-Four Early American Country Dances, Cotillions & Reels, for the Year 1976), 1976; p. 23. Thompson (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1780), 1780.

Recorded sources:

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