Four Bare Legs Together

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FOUR BARE LEGS TOGETHER. AKA and see "Maggie's Tocher." English, Scottish; Slip Jig and Air. England, Northumberland. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody appears in William Vickers' Northumbrian manuscript [1], c. 1770, Allan Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany (1724-27, no. 26), and in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (1787). The suggestive title is a line from a song called "Maggie's Tocher", also printed by Allen Ramsay in Tea Table Miscelleny (1724-27, Song 230), by Herd in his Ancient Scots Songs (c. 1769), and in several other 18th century publications, although in later years the tune is more apt to be found as an instrumental tune rather than a song.

The bairns are coming on,
And they'll cry, O their mither!
We have nouther pat nor pan,
But four bare legs the gither.

A tune called "Four Bare Legs Together" was one of the dance tunes played in the Unst district of Shetland (Old-lore Miscellaney of Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and Sutherland, Vol. VI, Part 1, Jan., 1913, p. 6).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Knowles (A Northern Lass), 1995; p. 24.

Recorded sources: Beautiful Jo BEJOCD-36, Dave Shepherd & Becky Price - "Ashburnham." Front Hall FHR-08, Alistair Anderson - "Traditional Tunes" (1976).




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