Jocky’s Dance

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JOCKY'S DANCE. English, Scottish; Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody first appears in John Watlen's The Celebrated Circus Tunes, printed in Edinburgh in 1791. The title of the volume refers to the Royal Circus of Phillip Astley, an entertainment amphitheater that was a franchise of Astley's original Royal Circus in London. Astley (for whom see Astley's Hornpipe was an equestrian performer and promoter who provided Georgian London with an alternative to the theater, with equestrian acts, acrobatics, songs and dance, and pantomime. Watlen must have been associated with the Edinburgh branch, for he composed several tunes in his Celebrated Circus Tunes, which he noted were sung or danced to by various performers at the venue. Perhaps the title of the tune refers to an equestrian, rather than to a Scotsman.

The tune is one of several from Watlen's collection (reprinted without mention of the source) published by James Aird (Glasgow) some five years later.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; No. 88, p. 36. Watlen (The Celebrated Circus Tunes), 1791; p. 6.

Recorded sources:




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