Easter Thursday

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EASTER THURSDAY. English, "Old" Hornpipe (3/2 time). D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody, with country dance instructions, was published in London in John Young's Third Volume of the Dancing Master, 3rd edition (1726), John Walsh's Caledonian Pocket Companion (c. 1733), and Wright's Compleat Collection of celebrated country Dances, vol. 2 published in London by Johnson in 1742 (p. 80).

The Thursday before Good Friday is, in the tradition of the Church of England, is when the service of Royal Maundy [1] is held. The ceremony dates to Medieval times, when the English monarch would wash the feet of beggars in imitation of Christ, and distribute food and clothing to the poor. The feet-washing part of the ceremony did not survive the 18th century, and money has since subsitituted for the distribution of food and clothing; but the ceremony is still performed today.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Christian (The Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 29. Knowles (A Northern Lass), 1995; p. 35.

Recorded sources: Beautiful Jo BEJOCD-36, Dave Shepherd & Becky Price - "Ashburnham." Harmonia Mundi 907101, The King's Noyse - "The King's Delight: 17c Ballads for Voice and Violin Band" (1992). Varrick VR-013, Bare Necessities - "English Country Dances" (1987).

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