Jean de Paris
X:1 T:Jean de Paris Quadrille M:6/8 L:1/8 S:Mackie manuscript Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G D2|G2B BAB|d2B BAB|c2e g2e|d2B BAB| c2A AGA|B2G GFG|Eed cBA|B2G G2:| |:B|d2c Bcd|e2f g2a|b2a gfe|d2B Bcd| e2e ecA|d2d dBG|c2A B2G|ABG FED:||
JEAN DE PARIS. AKA and see "John of Paris," "Needles and Pins," "Ninety-Five." English, Jig (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABA. Jean de Paris was an opera with music by François Adrien Boieldieu (libretto by C. Benjamin Godard d'Aurour) first staged at the Opéra-Comique, in Paris, on April 4, 1812. The tune is contained in several 19th century musicians manuscripts such as the 19th century Joseph Kershaw manuscript. Rev. R. Harrison's ms. and the William Mackie ms. Kershaw was a fiddle player who lived in the remote area of Slackcote, Saddleworth, North West England, who compiled his manuscript from 1820 onwards, and Harrison (whose ms. is dated c. 1815) also lived in northwest England (Temple Sowerby, Cumbria). Mackie was a Great Highland Bagpiper and Scottish small-pipes player from Aberdeen whose manuscript is from the early 19th century. The tune is a popular morris dance tune under the title "Ninety-Five."
The melody is not, however, Boieldieu's, but rather is the work of Isaac Pocock and composer Henry Bishop for an English two-act comic adaptation of the French opera, staged at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden (Nov., 1814). Bishop was "Composer and Director of music to the Theatre Royal." The march was found in Act ii, as a "Pastoral Dance." Bishop took credit for it in a letter published in The Harmonicon: A Journal of Music, vol. 7 p. 299 (Dec., 1829), replying to a critique by M. Petis, editor of the Revue Miscale. He wrote:
What M Metis means by my “finishing obligate accompaniments to osmepopular airs” in the opera of John of Paris, I am at a loss to conjecture; and as he, of course, understands the signification of the term ‘obligato’, I am almost entitled to believe that he has criticized by arrangement of the work without having seen it: for not an obligato accompaniment of any kind does it contain, nor was there an “popular air”, by which probably M. Fetis means some Scotch or Irish melody (“a sort of seasoning,” which he has facetiously asserted to be “indispensable” in the formation of an English opera (introduced through the work). The airs of the lighter kind, including the trifling dance with has since obtained some popularity, and is generally known by the name of “John of Paris”, being bona fide composed, without the necessity of “pillaging” from any scores, either “foreign” or otherwise, by myself.