Enfield Common

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X:1 T:Enfield Common M:3/2 L:1/8 B:Playford - Dancing Master (1701) K:Dmin f2g2e2|f2d4 a2 b2g2|a2 f4 a2g2e2|f2d2 e2A2 d2^c2|d2 D4:| |:e2f2d2|g2e4c2e2c2|f2c4 A2c2A2|d2B2G2g2d2e2|f2F4f2 A2c2| B2d4g2=B2d2|^c2e4a2e2g2|f2d2e2A2d2^c2|d2D4:||

ENFIELD COMMON. English, Country Dance Tune (3/2 time). D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A popular melody composed by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) around 1690 for his theatrical work Amphitryon, or The Two Sosias. Enfield Common was an area to the north of London, above Tottenham and east of Chipping Barnet. The melody and dance instructions appear in Playford's Dancing Master in the 11th edition (1701), and in all subsequent editions through the 16th, of 1716. A different tune (although same title, key and metre) appears in the Dancing Master' of 1721 and 1728). It also was printed by John Walsh in his Compleat Country Dancing Master (editions of 1718, 1731 and 1754), and in ballad operas, including Walker's The Quaker's Opera (1728). Thomas D'Urfey printed it as the vehicle for a ribald song in his Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy, vol. 4 (1719-1720). It begins:

On Enfield Common, I met a Woman,
A bringing North Hall Water to the Town;
Said I, fair Maiden, you're heavily laden,
I'll light and give you ease in a Green Gown;
Says she, 'tis good Sir, to stir the Blood, Sir,
For the Green-sickness, Friend, will make me like it;
Then in a Minute I left my Gennett,
And went aside with her into a Thicket:
Then with her leave there, a Dose I gave her,
She straight confess'd her Sickness I did nick it.

"Enflied Common" was included in the music manuscript book of London musician Thomas Hammersley (1790). John Offord (1985) finds a similar tune as "A Galliarde" by English composer William Byrd that is contained in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. See also the related "Manchester Hornpipe (3)."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barlow (Compleat Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 435, p. 100. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 39 (appears as "Enfield Common"). Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 613. Moffat (Dances of the Olden Time), 1922; p. 16. Offord (John of the Green: Ye Cheshire Way), 1985; p. 19.

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