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JOLLY BREEZE. AKA - "Jolly Brees." English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Walsh): AA'BB (Playford). Solomon Eccles (1618–1683) came from a musical family but was an early convert to Quakerism, and he renounced his former involvement with music. Despite their father’s displeasure Eccles’ two sons, John and Henry, became musicians who wrote a great deal of secular music. John Eccles's (1668-1735) popular song "The Jolly Breeze" was first printed in William Pearson's Twelve New Songs (London, 1699). The melody and dance directions ("Longways for as many as will") were also printed by Henry Playford in his Dancing Master , 11th edition (London, 1701), and retained in the long-running Dancing Master volumes through the 18th and last edition of 1728 (published at the time by John Young, heir to the Playford music publishing concerns). The dance and tune were also printed in various publications of John Walsh, beginning with his The Compleat Country Dancing-Master (1718).
Thomas D'Urfey published the melody to "The Jolly Breeze" in his Wit and Mirth; or, Pills to Purge Melancholy (1709), identical to that printed by Pearson in 1699, and was also printed in Caliope (1746). Eccles song begins:
The jolly, jolly breeze
that comes whistling through the trees
From all this blissful region brings
perfumes upon its spicy wings.
With its wanton motion curling
the crystal rills,
Which down the hills
run, over golden gravel purling.
Source for notated version: