Duke of York's March (The)
X:1 T:Duke of York’s March M:C L:1/8 R:March B:Aird – Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4 (1796, No. 57, p. 23) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G2 G>G B2 B>B|dBdB G2 dd|gdgd gdBG|d2 d>d d2z2| d'3b g2g2|a2 ac' b2 zd'|d'3b bg c'b|a2 a>a a2z2:| |:d2 d>d dabc'|d2 d>d dgbd'|c'aaa bgg|e'd'c'b b2a2| g2 ba gde=f|=fe e4 ^f/g/a/b/|c'c'bb aagg|f2 a>a a2z2| G2 G>G B2 B>B|dBdB G2 c’2|bc'c'b c'agf|g2 g>g g2z2:|]
DUKE OF YORK'S MARCH, THE. English, March (4/4 time). England; Yorkshire, Shropshire. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Ashman): AABBCCDD (Cahusac, Merryweather & Seattle). Gordon Ashman (1991) maintains that the melody was composed in 1805, soon after the Duke of York became Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and notes it is still in use today as a regimental slow-march. James Merryweather (1988, 1994), however, researched the melody and found it was composed by John Gamidge in 1789, to be played by the York Waits. Glasgow publisher James Aird included it in his Selections, vol. 4 (1796). Another tune called "The Duke of York's March" was cited by Linscott as having been a popular British army march of the American Revolutionary War period. This is perhaps the "Duke of York" in Samuel Holyoke's Instrumental Assistant (pp. 50-51), Printed in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1800 (although the original for this was Playford in 1665). Manuscript versions of the march can be found in the 19th century English copybooks of John Moore (b. 1819), the Browne family (c. 1825), Lawrence Leadley, Joshua Gibbons, John Rook and Joshua Jackson; all with no known military connections, indicating the march may have been part of the musical background of social events of different kinds.
One of the oddest 'recordings' of the tune is on the barrel organ from the polar expedition of Admiral Parry of 1819. In place of a ship's fiddler (common in those days), Parry introduced a mechanical barrel organ on board ship to provide entertainment and a vehicle to which the men could exercise (i.e. by dancing). "Duke of York's March" was one of eight tunes on barrel no. 4.