He Piped so Sweet

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HE PIPED SO SWEET. Scottish, Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by English songwriter and composer James Hook [1] (1746-1827). The song begins:

When rival lads and lasses gay,
Proclaimed the birth of rosy May,
When round the Maypole on the green,
The rustic dancers all were seen,
'Twas there young Jockey met my view,
His like before I never knew,
He piped so sweet and danced so gay,
Alas! He danced my heart away.

Chorus:
He piped so sweet, he piped so sweet,
He piped so sweet and danced so gay,
Alas, he stole my heart away,
Alas, he stole my heart away.

Moffat notes:

A Vauxhall song sung by a singer named Mrs. Iliff about the season of 1788. The melody is by James Hook, and his pretty little passage for the pipe towards the end of the song has been retained. Preston published the music in one of Hook's collections, and on sheet music, and the verses are in several songbooks of the period, including the New Vocal Enchantress for 1789.

Mrs. Iliff (or Iliffe), nee Palmer, was the daughter to Mrs. Palmer, housekeeper to the famous tragedienne, Mrs. Crawford, afterwards Mrs. Barry. She became the wife of Edward Henry Iliffe who played the Theatre Royal, Hay Market, who as a boy went to sea as a midshipman. On his return he obtained a post in the India House, but felt called to the stage. His first appearance was at the Brighton Theatre where he played as Mr. Williams. There he met a young actress, Miss Palmer, who had success in the Brighton, Sheffield and Edinburgh Theatres, and who sang at Vauxhall. In 1789 she was engaged at the Haymarket.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Harding's All Round Collection, 1905; No. 99, p. 31. Moffat (English Songs of the Georgian Period), c. 1900; pp. 236-237.

Recorded sources:




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