Jack the Sailor

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X: T:Jack the Sailor M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig Q:"Moderato" N:"Danced by Mr. Holland" B:John Watlen - The Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791, p. 3) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Bb b|f2d B2B|g2g g2b|f2d B2d|d3 c2b| f2d B2B|g2g g2b|f2d cBc|!fermata!B3-B2:| |:f|=efg efg|fga b2f|=efg efg|f=ef f2f| =efg efg|fga b2b|agf gf=e|f3 f2!D.C.!||



JACK THE SAILOR. Scottish (?), Jig (6/8 time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABA. A note with the tune in John Watlen's 1791 indicates it was "danced by Mr. Holland" at the Edinburgh's Royal Circus, an extension of Phillip Astley's London-based Royal Circus. The venue provided an alternative to concerts, opera and the theater and featured equestrian performances, acrobatics, songs and dances, and pantomimes. There were several period performers named Holland, however, Watlen's note refers to John Holland, one of the principal dancers for the circus (along with Robert Aldridge, James Williamson Lassells, Jean Baptiste Dubois and Sophia Parker) in the 1790-1792 seasons[1].

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Watlen (The Celebrated Circus Tunes), 1791; p. 3.

Recorded sources: -



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  1. Kim Baston, "The Celebrated Circus Tunes: Music and Musicians in an Eighteenth-Century Circus", Popular Entertainment Studies, Vol. 9, Issue 1-2, 2018, p. 9