Back to From Aberdeen
FROM ABERDEEN. English, Country Dance Tune (4/4 or 2/2 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B (Merryweather): ABB (Barnes, Sharp). The melody was one of the "Scotch" tunes published by Henry Playford in the Dancing Master, 9th edition (extra Supplement), 1698. It was retained in the long-running Dancing Master series through the 18th and final edition of 1728 (published at the time by John Young, heir to the Playford publishing concerns). The dance and tune were also published in London by rivals John Walsh and (later) son John Walsh in their The Compleat Country Dancing Master (1718, and later editions of 1731 and 1754). Graham Christian (2015) finds the tune is derived from a song in Love's a Jest (1696), a comedy by Peter Anthony Motteux (1663-1718) staged at Lincoln's Inn Fields, the first line of which contains the title: "From Aberdeen to Edenborough, I trug'd it with my Bearn."
Manuscript versions of the tune appear in the copybook collection of Henry Atkinson (c. 1694), Northumberland) and James Young's McFarlan Manuscript (c. 1740). The melody was also used for songs in a few ballad operas in the early 18th century: Chetwood's The Lover's Opera (1730), The Decoy (1733), and Henry Fielding's Don Quixote in England (1734).
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 396, p. 93. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 36. Merryweather (Merryweather's Tunes for the English Bagpipe), 1989; p. 47. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 71. Walsh (Complete Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Fourth), London, 1740; No. 67.