Dover Pier

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DOVER PIER. English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune dates to 1791 when it appeared in Preston's Twenty four Country Dances for the Year 1791 (London). Shakespeare mentions Dover Pier in the beginning of Act III of Henry V, which opens with the chorus setting the scene, asking the audience to "suppose that you have seen the well apppointed King at Dover pier...the hempen tackle, shipboys climbing. Hear the shrill whistle...(and feel the) creeping wind." The name Dover itself is derived from one of the many words for water in the language of the Celtic Britons (before the time of the Romans who called the same place Dubris). Julius Caesar landed at Dover in 55 BC, and it subsequently became a Roman port. William the conqueror hastened to finish fortifying the castle just after the battle of Hastings in 1066 to consolidate his victory, although the castle that exists today was build by Henry II in the 1180's. Dover Castle became noted for its royal meetings and romances.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986.

Recorded sources: Front Hall 03, Dudley Laufman--"Swinging on a Gate."




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