Annotation:Getting Upstairs (1)

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X:1 T:Getting Upstairs [1] L:1/8 M:2/2 N:key transposed from original B:Sharp & Macilwaine, Morris Dance Tunes K:D ag|f2d2 A2d2|cdef g2ag|f2d2 A2d2|1 cdec d2:|2 cdec d4|| f3g a2d2|f2g2a2d2|b3a g2f2|e2f2g2||

GETTING UPSTAIRS [1]. English, Morris Dance Tune (2/2 time). G Major (Carlin, Mallinson): A Major (Bacon). Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B (Sharp & Macilwaine), ABB, x4 (Mallinson): AABB (Carlin): AABA (Bacon–Hinton): AA'BA (Bacon–Headington). "Getting Upstairs [1]" is a tune from the villages of Headington, Oxfordshire, and Hinton, Northamptonshire, in England's Cotswolds (the Hinton tune was actually from Leominster, imported to Hinton where the dance was finally collected). It is an adaptation of the American blackface minstrel tune of the same name written in the 1830's by Joe Blackburn. Winston Wilkinson (Southern Folklore Quarterly, VI, 1, 1942, "Virginia Dance Tunes") suggests that the title derived from the Morris Processional Dance in which performers danced "down the street, into the village houses, up the stairs and down again." However, it seems clear that the title and tune were borrowed from American minstrel usage, particularly when the song lyrics are reviewed (as sung by the Headington Morris side):

Some likes coffee, some likes tea,
Some likes a pretty girl, just like me;
Such a getting upstairs and a playing on the fiddle,
Such a getting upstairs I never did see.

Cecil Sharp collected similar lyrics in oral tradition in the Appalachians. The set below is from Mrs. Laurel Jones at Brurnsville, N.C., Sept. 17, 1918 (found in English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, 1932, No. 272):

Some loves coffee, some loves tea,
Some loves money, but they don't love me.
Singing in the lonesome cowboyee,
Singing in the lonesome sea.

The tune was entered (with parts reversed from Sharp & Macilwaine's version) in the mid-19th century music manuscript of William Winter (1774-1861), a shoemaker and violin player who lived in West Bagborough in Somerset, southwest England.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Bacon (A Handbook of Morris Dances), 1974; pp. 186, 203. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 45, p. 36. Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Sept. 1950. Mallinson (Mally's Cotswold Morris Book, vol. 2), 1988; No. 49, p. 24. Sharp & Macilwaine (Morris Dance Tunes, Set 3), 1909; p. 2. Geoff Woolfe (William Winter’s Quantocks Tune Book), 2007; No. 321, p. 114 (ms. originally dated 1850).

Recorded sources : - EMI/Harvest 7243 8 29861 2 6, Ashley Hutchings et al – "Son of Morris On" (1976/1994). Topic TSCD 600, William Kimber – "Hidden English. A Celebration of English Traditional Music" (reissue, originally recorded in 1946).

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