Annotation:Footy Agyen The Wa'

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X:1 T:Footy again the wall L:1/8 M:6/8 S:John Bell (1783-1864) music manuscript collection (c. 1812) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G f|g2e f2d|e2d B2f|g2e f2d|(B3-B2)f| g2e f2d|e2f g2e|dBG A2B|(E3 E2):| |:F|G2A B2d|c2A B2A|G2A B2d|(e3 e2)f| g2e f2d|e2f g2e|dBG A2B|(E3 E2):|]

FOOTY AGYEN THE WA'. AKA and see "Peacock's Fancy (1)," "Pin Her against the Wall (1)." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). England, Northumberland. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The song "Footy" was sung to the air "Peacock's Fancy." It appears in the c. 1812 music manuscript book of Northumbrian musician John Bell [1] (1783-1864), who also printed it in his collection Rhymes of Northern Bards with the note: "A Song much sung some Years ago, by the Pitmen about Long Benton." The words were considered vulgar in Victorian times, and so were not printed by Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy, 1883) and others. Bell's lyric begins:

Fra Benton Bank to Benton Town,
There's not a Pitman raw;
So when ye get to the Moor Yate,
Play footy again the wa'?
Then hie footy and how footy,
And footy again the wa';
And when ye get to the Moor Yate,
Play footy again the wa'.

In Bell's Northern Bards he notes that the song was popular in the early 19th century with the Pitman around Long Benton, Northumberland. See also Northumbrian musician Lionel Winship's version (with parts reversed) as "Pin Her against the Wall (1)." Cecil Sharp printed the tune as an "alternative air" for the Walbottle Sword Dance, one of five Northumbrian tunes he suggested might be played for the dance[1].

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Hobbs (Piper's Companion Book 4). Northumbrian Piper's Society (The Northumbrian Pipers' Second Tune Book), 1981. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 61. Sharp (The Sword Dances of Northern England, Vol. 3: Songs and Dance Airs), 1913; p. 23.

Recorded sources : - Wind Enerty - "Wild and Windy" (2009).

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  1. All five tunes were taken from the music manuscript of Northumbrian small-pipe tunes in the possession of "the late" Joseph Crawhall, originally compiled by his father.