Felton Lonnin

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FELTON LONNIN. AKA – "Felton Lonnen," "Pelton Lonnon." AKA and see "Kye's come hame but I see not my hinny." English, Jig. England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Bruce & Stokoe): AABBCCDDEEFFGG (Peacock): AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHII (Raven). The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes (called "The Northern Minstrel's Budget") which he published c. 1800. See "Joy be wi' my love" from the Scottish McFarlan manuscript (c. 1740) for a possible precursor. Felton is a village in Northumberland midway between Morpeth and Alnwick, while lonnen is a dialect word in the north of England for a land or road. Whelan's History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland (1855) states that in the mid-19th century "Felton comprises an area of 12,830 acres. Population in 1851, 1,574 souls. The soil of this parish is various but chiefly incumbent upon strong clay, and is well suited for grain crops. There are some coal seams here, but they are not much worked." The village is approximately 9 miles south of Alnwick on the River Coquet, over which a stone bridge was built, followed by a second bridge in modern times to accommodate increased traffic. It was in Felton that English barons met in 1215 to plan the transfer of their allegiance from King John to King Alexander of Scotland, a decision that greatly annoyed the former, with the result that he had the village burned down as punishment. Stokoe and Bruce remark: "There is a jingling rhyme fitted to this tune to be found in Sir Cuthbert Sharp's Bishopric Garland, but it is there entitled 'Pelton Lonnin'.

The swine came jumping down Pelton Lonnin', (x3)
There's five black swine and never an odd one.
Three i' the dyke and two i' the lonnin', (x3)
That's five black swine and never an odd one.

Another short rhyme sung to the same air, which we have not yet seen in print, was popular as a nursery rhyme some fifty or more years ago.

The kye's come hame, but I see not my hinny,
The kye's come hame, but I see not my bairn;
I'd rather loss a' the kye than loss my hinny,
I'd rather loss a' the kye than loss my bairn.

Fair faced in my hinny, his blue eyes are bonny,
His hair in curl's ringlets hung sweet to the sight;
O mount the old pony, seek after my hinny,
And bring to his mammy her only delight. ... (Bruce & Stokoe)

There are other verses that were added sometime later, however, Bruce & Stokoe only printed the two above, obtained from the c. 1812 music manuscript of Northumbrian musician John Bell [1] (1783–1864), where the tune and verses were entered under the title "Kye's come hame but I see not my hinny." The High Level Ranters played the tune as a jig and waltz in the early 1970's. Raven's version is a reprint from A Tutor for the Northumbrian Small-pipes by J.W. Fenwick, published in the late 1800's. Researcher Matt Seattle finds a version of the melody in Edinburgh musician David Young's 1740 collection as "The Bride Has a Bonny Thing" (although that title is also applied to a differnt, more popular tune), and another version in the John Smith music manuscript (Northumberland, 1752) as "Joy Gang Down the Lonning with Her."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cocks (Tutor for the Northumbrian Half-Long Bagpipes), 1925; No. 5, p. 9. Crawhall (Tunes for the Northumbrian Small Pipes), 1877; No. 38, p. 27. Handle et al. (High Level Ranters Song and Tune Book), 1972; p. 24. Northumbrian Pipers Tunebook 1. Peacock (Favorite Collection of Tunes with Variations), c. 1805; No. 34, p. 14. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 97. Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 148.

Recorded sources:




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