John Dory (1)

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JOHN DORY [1]. English, Air (6/4 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. This version is set as a canon by Ravenscroft in Deuteromelia (1609). The lyric begins:

As it fell on a holy day & upon a holy tide-a
John Dory bought him an ambling nag to Paris for to ride-a;
To Paris for to ride-a.

Chappell (1859) believes that by the date 1600 there were already two distinct versions of this Elizabethan air extent, but that the original tune has not been definitely identified, though it could perhaps be this version, which he sees as the more archaic on stylistic grounds. Chappell finds many references to the tune in 17th century literature, including the following from a lampoon by Dryden, indicating its hackneyed status in his time:

But Sunderland, Godolphin, Lory,
These will appear such chits in story,
'Twill turn all politics to jest,
To be repeated, like 'John Dory',
When fiddlers sing at feasts.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), vol. 1, 1859; p. 93.

Recorded sources:




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