Annotation:Joan to the Maypole

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X:1 T:Joane to the May Powle B:Margaret Board Lute Book (c. 1620, fol. 27, Library of Robert Spencer) F: M:C L:1/8 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F V:1 C2 DE F2 EF|G2 FG|[F4A4]|AB c2c2A2|[F2A2][E2G2][C4F4]:| |:c2c2c4|c4c4|c4c4|F4 GABc|[F2A2] GF E3D|D6:| |:AB|c2c2c2d2|[A3c3]B AB c2|[D2B2][D2A2]GABc|A6AB| c2c2c2d2|[A3c3]B ABc2|[D2B2][D2A2][D2A2][D2G2]|F6 z2:| DEFG A3E|F2 GF ^C4|FGAB c2c2|[F3c3]B[F3A3][FB]|AGFA GFEG| FEFG A3=B,|A,=B,CA, B,CDB,|FA E>D D4||[M:6/4]D4 D2 =B,4B,2|E4 E2 ^C4 A,2| D4 D2^F4D2|^F6 A6|A4^F2 G4E2|^F2D4 D2A,4|=B,4 ^C2D4E2|^F2E4 D6|| V:2 clef = bass [F,,4F,4][F,4C4]|C,4 [C,4C4]|F,4 E,2F,2|C,4F,4:| z2 F,2E,2C,2|F,G,A,B, C2C,2|F,,G,,A,,B,, C,2A,2|[B,,3B,3][A,,B,][F,,4B,4]|[F,,2C2][G,,2C2][F,,4A,4]|[D,6A,6]:| |:z2|F,4F,,4|F,4F,,4|G,,2A,,2B,,4|F,2F,,2F,4| F,,4F,4|z2 F,,2F,4|G,,2A,,2B,,2C,2|F,2F,,4 z2:| [D,4A,4]A,4|[D,4A,4]A,3G,|F,4E,2F,2|C,4 [F,2C2][F,,2C2]|F,4C,4| [D,4A,4]F,4|[F,,4F,4]G,4-|G,2[A,,2A,2][D,4F,4]||[M:6/4][D,6A,6][G,,6G,6]|C,6A,,6| [D,12A,12]|[F,,12A,12]|D,6E,6|[D,6A,6]A,,6|G,,6=B,,6|A,,6 F,3D,,3||

JOAN TO THE MAYPOLE. AKA and see "Joane to the May-pole," "Joane to the May Powle," "King's Morisco (The)," "May-pole (The)." English, Air (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The piece may have been music for a specific choreography, perhaps one created for an antimasque in Beaumont's Masque of the Inner Temple (1613), and is more like a suite of five short dances rather than one unified dance[1]. The tune appears in Pills to Purge Melancholy (1707 & 1719) under the "Joan to the Maypole" title and also as the tune to "The Disappointment" (1707). Chappell (1859) finds this ballad in the Roxburghe and Douce Collections where it is entitled "May-day Country Mirth; or, The Young Lads and Lasses' Innocent Recreation, which is to be prized before courtly pomp and pastime: to an excellent new tune." In Pepys it is called "Rural Recreation; or, The Young Men and Maids' Merriment at their Dancing around a Country May-pole."

The oldest printing is perhaps as "Joane to the May Powle" in Woodford Green, Essex, Library of Robert Spencer, Margaret Board Lute Book (fol. 27)[1], c. 1620. Chappell records that one of Richard Brathwaite's Shepherd's Tales (1621) is "The Shepherd's Holiday, reduced in apt measures to Hobbinall's Galliard, or John (Joan) to the Maypole."

Joan to the maypole away let us on,
The time is swift, and will be gone.
There go the lasses away to the green,
Where their beauties may be seen;
Bess, Moll, Kate, Doll,
All the brave lasses have lads to attend 'em,
Hodge, Nick, Tom, Dick,
Jolly brave dancers, and who can ammend 'em.
Joan to the maypole away let us on,
The time is swift and must be gone,
There go the lasses away to the Green,
Where their beauties may be seen.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times, vol. 2), 1859; pp. 100-101.

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  1. John M. Ward, "The Morris Tune", Journal of the American Musicological Society, (1986) 39 (2):p. 314 [2].