High Jinks (2)

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HIGH JINKS [2]. AKA - "High Ginks." English, Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody appears (as "High Ginks") in the last volumes of the long-running Dancing Master series (volume 2), published by John Young in London, in 1718 and in a final edition in 1728. John Walsh also published it in his Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master (1719). According to Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1961), 'high jinks' oldest meaning (1770-1820) referred to a gambler who drinks to intoxicate his adversary i.e. one who feigns drinking, or drinks little, while encouraging other players to consume copiously. Similarly, in England 'high jinks' was a dicing game for drinks-guests threw dice to select a member of the group to perform some deft task for the amusement of the others; failure resulted in the necessity of downing a large drink, and if that was not accomplished, a forfeit of some kind ensued. Only later, in the mid-19th century, did it take its modern meaning of a frolic, or a noisy party with pranks. There is some speculation that 'high jinks' was originally a Scottish word.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 59.

Recorded sources:




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