Down the Wagon Way (2)

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DOWN THE WAGON WAY [2]. AKA and see "I Winna Gae to Bed," "I winna gang to my bed," "Old Wagon Way." English, Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). England, Northumberland. D Minor/F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Frank Kidson (1890) identifies this as a Northumbrian pipe tune which he had from a MS collection dated about 1816 "by some person residing at Darlington or in the north." There evidently was once a song called "Down the Wagon Way," which perhaps survives in the nursery couplet:

Clap your hands for daddy,
Coming down the wagon way;
A pocket full of money,
And a cart load of hay.

Kidson may or may not have been referring to "Down the Wagon Way" in Northumbrian musician John Bell's (1783-1864) music manuscript collection of c. 1812 [1]. However, Kidson and Bell's two strains are reversed from each other. Bell also prints a lyric with the tune that begins:

An saw ye no my bonny lad,
Cum up the wagon way;
An saw ye no ma bonny lad,
Cum up the wagon way.

An his pockets full o' money,
An his pokes full o' hay;
An saw ye no ma bonny lad,
Cum up the way.

There is mony a bonny lad,
Along the wagon way;
O tell me whe's your canny lad--
Along the wagon way.

Bell's song was called "Say ye ought of my lad gawn up the wagon way?" when it appeared in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes ("The Northern Minstrel's Budget"), which he published c. 1800. See also Niel Gow's cognate melody "I Winna Gae to Bed."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Kidson (Old English Country Dances), 1890; p. 21.

Recorded sources:




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