Hemp Dressers (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Hemp Dresser [1] T:London Gentlewoman, The M:6/4 L:1/8 S:Playford - English Dancing Master (1651) K:G B3c d2 d4c2|B3c d2 D3E F2|G4 G2 G4A2|B6 c6:| |:B3A B3G3A B2|A4G A2 D3E F2|G4 G2 G4 G2A2|B6 c6:||

HEMP DRESSERS [1], THE. AKA and see "Flaunting Two," "London Gentlewoman," "London Maid," "Sun Has Loos'd His Weary Teams (The)," "Winchester Christening," "De'il's Awa wi' the Exciseman (The)." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The air appears in John Gay's Begger's Opera (1728) under the title "First time at the looking glass (The)." It was printed in all editions of Playford's English Dancing Master, 1650-1728 and the various titles given there ("London Maid," "London gentlewoman," "Hemp dresser") take their name from a song beginning:

There was a London gentlewoman,
that loved a country man-a:
And she did desire his company,
a little now and then-a
This man he was a hemp-dresser, (etc.)

A Welsh version of the tune appears under the name "Dadl Dau/Flaunting Two," printed in 1794 in Edward Jones' Relicks, although Kidson (Groves) says claims of a Welsh provenance for the melody are false. It was a popular country dance tune throughout the 18th century. See also the related Scottish jig "De'il's Awa wi' the Exciseman (The)."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 54, p. 28. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 1), 1859; p. 297. John Walsh (Complete Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Fourth), London, 1740; No. 161.

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