Hey Jenny Come Down to Jock

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HEY JENNY COME DOWN TO JOCK. AKA and see "Take it Easy." Scottish, Air and Jig. F Major (Carlin/Gow): G Major (most versions). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Carlin/Gow, Rook): AABB (Carlin/Master Collection, McGibbon, Mulhollan): AABBCCDD (O'Farrell). The melody appeared to the antiquarian Stenhouse (writing in notes to the Musical Museum) to have some antiquity, and he the believed it may have been the original melody for the broadly humourous song "Rob's Jock" inserted into the Bannatyne Manuscript, finished in 1568. The song lyric was reworked (although kept its core content and lines), and "was another of the songs travestied by our Grub-street friends about the year 1700." This later version appeears in D'Urfey's Wit and Mirth: Pills to Purge Melancholy as "The Scotch Wedding Between Jocky and Jenny." A note after the song directs that the following be recited after singing it:

Sea then they gang'd to the Kirk to be wad. Noow they den't use to wad in Scotchland as they wad in England; for they gang to the Kirk, and they take the DONKIN by the Rocket, and say: "Good morn, SIR DONKIN." Says SIR DONKIN, Ah Jockey, sen ater me, wit ta ha Jenny to be thy wadded wife? Ah, by my lady (quoth Jockey), and thanks twa we aw my heart. Then says SIR DONKIN, Ah Jenny, sen ater me, Wit ta ha Jockey to be they wadded loon, to have and hold for aver and aver, forsaking aw other loons, lubberloons, black-lips, blue-nases, and aw swigg-bell'd caaves? We aw my heart (quoth Jenny). Then says SIR DONKIN, Ah, an these twa ben't as weel wadded as eer I wadded any twa in aw Scotchland, the Deel and St. Andrew part ye.

The song was also printed by Allan Ramsay in Tea-Table Miscellany.

However, the present melody is not, according to John Glen (1900) nearly as old, and cannot be found prior to its printing in William McGibbon's third collection (1755). Glen suggests that another tune, "Jocky wood a wooing go" in the Blaikie Manuscript (1692) is the original air. It is the McGibbon air that is printed by Johnson in the Scots Musical Museum where the title is given as "Hey Jenny, come down to Jock." It begins:

Jocky he came here to woo,
On ae feast-day when we were fu';
And Jenny pat on her best array,
When she heard that Jocky was come that way.

James Oswald's similarly-titled "O Jenny come down to Jock," printed in his Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 2 (1760), is a different melody.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 157, p. 93. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 332. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 2), 1802; p. 11. Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 2), 1788; p. 175. McGibbon (Scots Tunes, book III), 1762; p. 85. Mulhollan (A Selection of Irish and Scots Tunes), 1804; p. 46. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. IV), c. 1810; p. 102.

Recorded sources:




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