Geud Man of Ballangigh (The)

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GEUD MAN OF BALLANGIGH, THE. AKA and see "Hunt the Squirrel (1)," "We'll all go to Kelso." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title is said to refer variously to King James V or James VI, from the apocryphal tale of his going about the countryside dressed as a beggar in order to mingle with his subjects to hear what they were saying about his governance. The discredited legend endures, if only as a piece of Victorian indulgence.

The tune dates to 1696, when it was published by London publisher Henry Playford in the supplement to the 9th edition of the Dancing Master, Part II. The melody is given as "The geud man of Ballangigh; to a new Scotch Jig." The tune was retained in the long running Dancing Master series, through the 18th and last edition, then published by John Young in 1728. The melody was also published by the Walsh & Hare (with the exact title as in Playford) in The Compleat Country Dancing Master (editions of 1718, 1735, 1754). Later it was published as a song in the Scots Musical Museum (No. 561) under the title "We'll all to Kelso go."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 355, p. 85. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Fleming-Williams & Shaw (English Dance Airs; Popular Selection, Book 1), 1965; p. 10 (appears as "Hunt the Squirrel"). Karpeles & Schofield (A Selection of 100 English Folk Dance Airs), 1951; p. 23.

Recorded sources:




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