Epsom New Wells (1)

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EPSOM NEW WELLS [1]. AKA and see "Pursuit (2) (The)." English, Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. The tune dates to 1728. Another, different, tune (in 3/2 time) called "Epsom New Wells (2)" was printed in London by John Young, heir to the Playford publishing firm, who included it in his Second Volume, first edition, of the Dancing Master (1710, p. 124). The 'Medicinal Waters of Epsom' in the 17th century made it the first spa town in England, and gave rise to Epsom Salts (hydrated magnesium sulphate) as a curative. The popularity of the waters is attributed to Lord North, who in 1637 was the first to have told the English court of the use of Tonbridge and Epsom waters for health and cure, adding that it was a lot cheaper than travelling to a spa on the Continent. The title is to differentiate the melody from "Epsom Wells, or, "Wa' is Me, What Mun I do?", published in Henry Playford's supplement to the 9th edition of the Dancing Master (1696). A stage production by Thomas Shadwell was titled Epsom Wells (1676), with music by English composer Henry Purcell.

Cecil Sharp sometimes switched tunes and dances to suit him, and this is one example. The proper name for this tune is "Pursuit (2) (The)," while the dance is Epsom New Wells.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 48.

Recorded sources:




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