Here's to the Maiden

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HERE'S TO THE MAIDEN (OF BASHFUL FIFTEEN). AKA and see "General Toast (The)." English, Scottish; Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). D Major (Raven): G Major (Kerr, Lees, Sweet): F Major (Howe). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Howe): AB (Raven): AABB (Kerr, Sweet). The tune to a song by playwright and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), for his comedy The School for Scandal (1780). It begins:

Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen;
Here's to the widow of fifty;
Here's to the flaunting extravagant quean,
And here's to the housewife that's thrifty.

Let the toast pass,--
Drink to the lass,
I'll warrant she'll prove an excuse for the glass. (x2)

The melody frequently appears in fife and drum repertoire.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 156. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), c. 1880's; No. 403, p. 44. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), Glasgow, 1910; p. 30. Manson (Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book vol. 1), 1854; p. 102. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 121. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 38 (includes a harmony part).

Recorded sources: Empty Pockets Productions, Skip Healy - "Purgatory Chasm" (2000).

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