Jackey Layton

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JACKIE LAYTON. AKA ‑ "Jack/Jackie/Jacky Latin/Latten," "Jockey Latin," "Jaque Latin," "Jacque Latin," "Jack Leighton,” “Jennie Rock the Cradle,” “Jock o’ Latin,” “Jockey Layton." AKA and see "Jockey Latin.” Scottish, English, Irish; Reel and Country Dance Tune. England, Northumberland. G Major (most versions): D Major (O'Neill). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Kerr, Surenne): ABC (Callaghan, O'Neill): AAB (Gow, Kennedy, Bruce & Stokoe): AABBCC (Barnes): AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHII (Peacock).

"Jackie Layton" (and variant spellings) is another tune for which the provenance is debatable and which is popular throughout the British Isles as a bagpipe and fiddle tune. The earliest appearance in print of the melody under the “Latin” title (or variations of the same) appears to be in the Scottish Drummond Castle Manuscript (in the possession of the Earl of Ancaster at Drummond Castle), inscribed "A Collection of Country Dances written for the use of his Grace the Duke of Perth by Dav. Young, 1734." It is also said to have been published in the same year in Ireland in John Neal's 3rd Collection of Country Dances (1734), according to Matt Seattle (whose information was supplied by Seán Donnelly). Closely following this is the melody appeared in Daniel Wright's Flute Tutor (1735) and the ballad opera The Female Rake (1736), indicating its popularity at that time. “Jacky Latin” appears in the 3rd book of The Compleat Country Dancing Master (1735) and volume 2 of Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances (c. 1737). Later printings can be found in Waylet’s Collection of Country Dances (1749), book 12 of Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion (c. 1759–60), the McLean Collection (printed by James Johnson in Edinburgh, 1772), the [James] Gillespie MS. of Perth (1768), and Bremner's McGibbon Collection (1768), though tune in the McLean Collection has been found contain a transposed flute version of the piece that Robert Bremner published four years earlier. The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes ("The Northern Minstrel's Budget"), which he published c. 1800, indicating that its popularity had at least spread to the Borders region. James Johnson included “Jacky” in his Scots Musical Museum (No. 430), as the indicated tune for Robert Burns' song "Lass of Ecclefechan.”

There have been several stories extent about the origins of the tune and regarding the personage of Jacky Lattin, some of which are quite erroneous. A correspondent of Captain Francis O’Neill’s, one Patrick O’Leary of Drumlona, Eastwood, Adelaide, South Australia, claimed the melody was Irish in origin and related this story from County Monaghan:

This fine old reel is said to have been composed in honor of a young man, John Duffy—better known as ‘Jack’ Duffy—who lived in the townland of Lattan, near (Walter ‘Piper’) Jackson’s home in the parish of Aughnamulien. Duffy being a fine, strapping young man, a local Adonis, and an incomparable dancer in those days when dancing was a fine art in Ireland, he won Jackson’s friendship and esteem to such a degree, that the great composer immortalized him in the beautiful tune, ‘Jack o’ Lattan.’

A variant story put forward is that Jack Lattin was an Irishman who danced himself to death at the age of 21. Yet another identification has it that Lattin was an accomplished and gifted fiddler and an associate of another famous Irishman immortalized in tune: Larry Grogan, the gentleman piper from Wexford. O’Neill (1922) remarks: “The renowned Walter Jackson popularly known as ‘Piper’ Jackson who flourished about the middle of the 18th Century, was reputed to be the composer of ‘Jack Lattin’, ‘Jack O'Lattan’, or ‘Jacky Latin’, as the tune has been variously called. Under the first name it was printed in Waylet's Collection of Country Dances, 1749. As ‘Jack Laten’ I find an elaborate setting of it in McGibbon’s Collection of Scots Tunes published in London 1755 consisting of four original parts apparently, and fifteen variations. While preserving the same strain, but more suitable to our purpose, O'Farrell's setting of much later date is here presented. A tune known to me as ‘Jenny Rock the Cradle’ was declared to be ‘Jacky Latin’ by a musical acquaintance, and it was under the latter name it was printed in O'Neill's Dance Music of Ireland in 1907. If both tunes were derived from Jackson's original composition, they furnish a striking illustration of how time, taste, and development diversify a strain of music in a few generations.” “Jenny Rock the Cradle” is a title associated with at least two tunes, however, and only the first strain of O’Neill’s “Jenny Rock the Cradle” (from an mid-19th century manuscript) is the same a “Jack Lattin.”

These threads of stories and variants were exhaustively investigated by Seán Donnelly in his article “Ecstasy in Eighteenth Century Kildare?: The Strange Fate of John Lattin of Morristown Lattin (1731)”, published in the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society xviii, 4 (1998–99), 565–88. Donnelly thoroughly researched the subject and finds that John “Jack” Lattin (1711–1731), a member of the Roman Catholic Lattin family of the estate of Morristown Lattin in County Kildare, was a young man of which there is some historical record, including some details of his life and fate. Older accounts agree that Lattin wagered that he could dance a distance of many miles, that he performed the feat and that he died subsequently—perhaps only days after the event, suggesting that he had an underlying health problem or that his exhaustion lowered his resistance to the many fevers endemic in the 18th century. Donnelly concludes that Lattin danced eight miles, from Morristown to Castle Browne, rather than the 20 mile distance from Morristown to Dublin that is often mentioned in later stories. Wagering on such marathon dances was not unique; Jack Kemp, an actor in Shakespeare’s troop, heavily bet that he would complete an 120 mile distance in England (see note for “Kemp’s Jig”). It is also true that Lattin and Larry Grogan were friends and musicians—fiddlers—who played together. Donnelly has no conclusions about who might have composed the tune, although he thinks it unlikely that Lattin did himself, as some have suggested and suggests that it originated with someone (a fiddler) in the Dublin music society that orbited around the Neals, performers and publishers.

The melody was published in O'Farrell's Collection of National Irish Music for the Union Pipes (1804) as “Jack Latten with variations," a five part tune, the whole of which was reproduced by O’Neill in his Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, though O’Farrell’s seems to be the earliest Irish printing. In the Fleischmann index, however, there is a note that the tune appears under the title “Irish Tune” in John Young's Collection of Scotch Tunes for the Violin (c. 1700), and if the reference is accurate, this would seem to indicate Irish origins for the melody predate Scottish ones. “Jack Lattin” is first mentioned in print in Faulkner’s Dublin Journal of June 1733 where it is advertised that “Jack Latin (will be played) on the Pipes, by two of the best Masters in this Kingdom,” indicating it was well-known at the time. Donnelly finds many other printed references to the tune in Ireland in the 18th century, but by the end of that century its popularity had ebbed, although by that time the tune was widely disseminated. In fact, says Donnelly, by the time of the O’Farrell printing most Scottish musicians would have disputed the claim the “Jack Lattin” was Irish in origin.

In a personal communication, M. Luc De Cat writes that “I found a 4 part tune from the same family in a tunebook edited in 1756 where it is arranged for harpsichord: Cents Contredanses en Rond (100 country dances, rounds) by Jean-Baptiste-Robert d' Aubat (de) St.-Flour. It appears as number 21: ‘Jacques Lutin ou l'Angloise’ (l'Angloise is the old way of writing l'Anglaise which is the name given to tunes from British origin). d'Aubat st-Flour was a dancing master in Gent (Belgium) and was, as his name indicates, from French origin. In his book are dance-tunes from British and French origin, and some classical sounding tunes. He was playing for the upper-class, who liked county dances at that time (with all the romantic pastoral feelings about the countryside).” A Dutch publication of 1755, Recueil de 24 Contredances Anglise Les Plus Usite by G. Willsim (with dance figures), includes “Jack Lattin” under the title “Jaque Latin.” [A copy of the latter publication is held at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro]. Graham Christian [CDSS News #205, Nov./Dec. 2008] writes that "Jacque Latin" was "one of the most beloved dances of the Dutch Court" and can be found in a 1755 publication assembled by dancing master G. Willsim for Prince Willem of Nassau-Orange and his wife Anna, daughter of King George II of England.

Despite its Irish roots, “Jack Lattin” was popular with English fiddlers as well in the late 18th and 19th centuries, primarily from the north of England. It appears, for example, in the music manuscripts of a number of British musicians, including Benjamin Cooke (c. 1770, Leeds, West Yorkshire), James Biggins (1779, Leeds, west Yorkshire), Joseph Barnes (1762, Carlisle, Cumbria), Tom Clough (various dates, Northumberland), John Fife (1780, Perth, Scotland), John Peacock (Northumberland), William Higgott (c. 1800, Cumbria), Joshua Jackson (, Harrogate, north Yorkshire), William Vickers (1770, Northumberland) and Thomas Watts (late 18th century, Peak Forest, Derbyshire). The tune was contained in the Northumbrian music manuscript collection of John Smith, dated 1752, which is unfortunately now lost. The contents were copied by 19th century folk-music collector John Stokoe in 1887, when the manuscript was in the possession of Lewis Proudlock. Stokoe's volume Northumbrian Minstrelsy had been printed five year prior, and his interest in Smith’s ms. demonstrates Stokoe's continuing commitment to older Northumbrian music.

Similarly, it appears in a few American musicians’ manuscripts of the latter 18th century, such as Silas Dickinson’s copybook (c. 1800, Amherst, Massachusetts), Whittier Perkins (1790, Massachusetts), It even appears in a 1772 music copybook of a Mexican musician, Joseph Maria Garcia (Chalco, Mexico), presently in the Southwest Museum, Eleanor Hague Collection, (MS 203), where it appears as “El Kaclattin, or Jack Latin.”

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 66 (appears as “Jaque Latin”). Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstelsy), 1882; p. 176. Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 38. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 392. Gow (Complete Repository), Part 3, 1806; p. 18. Kennedy (Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland: Reels and Rants), 1997; No. 74, p. 19. Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 3; No. 106, p. 13. O'Neill (1001 Gems), 1907; No. 537, p. 100 (appears as "Jacky Latin"). O’Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No. 219. Peacock's Tunes, c. 1805; No. 49, p. 23. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 95.

Recorded sources: Topic TSCD 529, Cut & Dry Band – “Wind in the Reeds: The Northumbrian Smallpipes” (1976).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]


UR-TEXT Editorial annotation:

     When the Copyist has made a choice, this has been marked with brackets "[ ]" or parenthesis "( )".
     For example in Frisky, where there is no time signature in the original edition, or in Meggy's Foot (8th) and Over the Border (9th) and 11(th) where there is a rhythmic inconsistency.

Unable to compile LilyPond input file:



     Peacock's contemporaries (e.g. Thomas Bewick), who referred to Peacock's style as having "his lilts, his pauses, and his variations" [L.Jessop], suggested to the copyist that ornaments, dotted notes, slurs, staccatos and graces must be left unaltered in this Urtext because they are expressions of the author. Nevertheless, the trill signs have been subsituted with the inverted mordent. This ornament is sometimes called a transient shake because it is really only a part of the more elaborate grace known as the "perfect trill". [K.W.Gehrkens]


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	%footnotes = ""
	tagline = ##f
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%%%% START PASTE AREA  %%%%
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\midi { }
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     Evident mistakes, have been corrected and underlined with "analysis brackets" as shown in the following 34th measure of Felton Lonning:

Unable to compile LilyPond input file:

line 15 - column 51:
GUILE signaled an error for the expression beginning here
--------
line 20 - column 66:
GUILE signaled an error for the expression beginning here





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