X: 1 T:Fiddler's Morris,The. (p).1701.PLFD.437 M:4/4 L:1/8 Q:1/2=90 S:Playford, Dancing Master,11th Ed.,1701. O:England Z:Chris Partington. K:F DE|F2F2c2F2|B2G4DE|F2F2c2F2|A2f2c3c| defd ABcA|dcBAG2DE|F2f2c3B|A2F4:| |:de fefg fgaf|gfga gage|fefg fgaf|gfed cdec| defd ABcA|dcBAG2DE|F2f2c3B|A2F4:|
FIDDLER'S MORRIS. AKA and see "Hilland Tune (2)," "There was a Lad was born in Kyle," "White Cockade (1) (The)," "O an ye were dead guidman," "I Wish that You were Dead Good Man," "O Gin Ye were Dead Gudeman," "Watson's Scots Measure," "Highland lad my love was born (A)." English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "Fiddler's Morris" was first published by Henry Playford in the 11th edition of his Dancing Master (1701, p. 299), and was retained in the long-running series through the 18th and final edition of 1728. The piece was also published by the Washes (John Walsh and his namesake) commencing with The Compleat Country Dancing Master of 1718. The latter editions of the Dancing Master were issued by John Young, heir to the Playford publishing concerns, who also republished Henry Playford's A Collection of Original Scots Tunes from the year 1700. In that collection "Fiddler's Morris" appears under the title "Hilland Tune (2)," by which title it also was printed in London publisher Daniel Wright's Aria di Camera (1727).
The tune was known in Scotland as "O an ye were deid, guidman," and was the indicated tune for poet Robert Burns's song "There was a lad was born in Kyle."
O an ye were dead, Gudeman,
A green turf on your head, gudeman,
I wad bestow my widowhood
Upon a rantin' Highlandman.
James C. Dick (Songs of Robert Burns, 446) notes that the first part of the tune resembles the second phrase of "Duke of Buccleugh's Tune (The)" in Playford's Apollo's Banquet (6th ed., 1690). Cognates to "Fiddler's Morrs" also are to be found in Scottish collections under the title "Watson's Scots Measure" (c.f. David Young's Macfarlane Manuscript of 1741, William McGibbon's Third Collection and Alexander McGlashan's Scots Measures (1781).