In January Last

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IN JANUARY LAST. English, Scottish; Air (4/4 time). E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The song appears in John Playford's Choice Ayres (ii. 46, 1679), Wit and Drollery (1682), Pills to Purge Melancholy (vol. i, all editions), and Apollo's Banquet (No. 55, 1687), in which latter volume it appears as an air simply called "A Scotch Tune." It also appears in Thomas D'Urfey's play The Fond Husband, or The Plotting Sisters (1676). The tune was also the vehicle for other songs such as "The Scotch Wedding; or, A short and pretty way of wooing" and "The New-married Scotch couple; or, The Loving Lasse's Lamentation," and "Northern Nanny; or, The Loving Lasse's Lamentation." John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies, 1900) finds that Allan Ramsay included "In January Last" in his Tea Table Miscellany (vol. ii) as "a song to be sung to its own tune." Thomson later printed it in Orpheus Caledonious (ii 42, 1733) but under the title "The Glancing of her Apron" (from another line in the song). Yet another title appears in the Leyden manuscripts, "The bonny brow," again from the eigth line of the song. Variants of the melody are given three times in the Scottish Blaikie Manuscript, notes Glen, as "The bony brow" (No. 80), "In January Last" (No. 94), and "Landy Binny's Lilt" (No. 96), "all differing from one another though derived apparently from the same source." Antiquarian William Stenhouse (Illustrations, 1853) in his discussion of the air "The Glancing of her Apron" decided "In January Last" was "a florid set of an old simple tune [called "Willie and Annet"] which has lately been published in Albyn's Anthology under the new title 'Jock o' Hazledean'." Finally, Glen finds a variant in Playford's New Lessons on the Cittern (1652) as "Lashley's March."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times), vol. 2, 1859; pp. 30-31.

Recorded sources:




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