Hang Sorrow

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HANG SORROW. English, Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody was first published by Henry Playford in the supplement to the 11th edition of The Dancing Master (1702). It was retained in the long-running series through the 18th and final edition of 1728, then published by John Young. It was also published in Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master, editions of 1718, 1731 and 1754.

There was an old song called "Hang Sorrow," mentioned in Addison and Steele's periodical The Spectator, of Nov. 26, 1711, in which the recent laws giving additional aid to the poor were discussed:

We have a tradition from our forefathers, that after the first of those laws was made, they were insulted with that famous song:

Hang sorrow and cast away care,
The parish is bound to fine us;

And if we will be so good-natured as to maintain them without work, they can do no less in return than sing us 'The Merry Beggars'.

Lawes (Collected vocal music: Dialogues, partsongs, and catches, p. 112) prints a catch (round) setting of the song with this first verse:

Hang sorrow and cast away care,
And let us drink up our sack;
They say 'tis good to cherish the blood,
And for to strengthen us back.


Source for notated version: From 204 Country Dances selection in 'A frolic'" [Raven].

Printed sources: Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 486, p. 110. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 214.

Recorded sources:




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