Annotation:Heart's Ease (1)

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X:1 T:Heart's Ease [1]. (p)1651.PLFD.038 M:6/4 L:1/4 Q:3/4=90 S:Playford, Dancing Master,1st Ed.,1651. O:England H:1651. Z:Chris Partington. K:F G|G>AB A2 G|^F2 G A2 D|G2 A B2 c|d3-d2| |:d|ABc c>dc|f2 c c2 A|B2 A B2 c|d3-d2 d| c2 B A>Bc|B2 A dAB|A2 G ^F>EF|G3 G2:|

HEART'S EASE [1]. English, Air and Country Dance Tune (6/4 or 6/8 time). G Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Chappell, Raven): ABB (Sharp): AABB (Barnes). This 16th century air was published with country dance directions in London by John Playford in his English Dancing Master (1651, p. 54), and was retained in subsequent Dancing Master editions through the eighth, published in 1690. The words to the original song are not known. Shakespeare mentions a "Heart's Ease" in Romeo and Juliet (act iv., sc. 5):

Peter.--Musicians, O musicians, "Heart's-ease, heart's-ease':
O an you will have me live, play 'Heart's-ease.'
1st Mus.--Why 'Heart's-ease'?
Peter.--O musicians, because my heart itself plays 'My heart
is full of woe': O play me some merry dump, to comfort me.

However, whether this is the dance or tune that Playford printed is not known. There was another melody, an almain by Athony Holborne, composed in 1599 with the same title. See also note for "Annotation:Dumpe (The)." See also an older version of the tune as "Heart's Ease (2)."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 38, p. 25. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 1), 1859; pp. 98-99. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 42. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1994; p. 42.

Recorded sources : - Amon Ra CDSAR 28, The Broadside Band – “John Playford’s Popular Tunes” (recorded 1952-1961). Saydisc CDSDL449, The Broadside Band - "Traditional Dance Music of Britain & Ireland" (2018).

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