Jove in His Chair

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X:1 T:Jove in the Chair M:C L:1/8 R:Air and March S:John Rook music manuscript collection (1840, p. 54) N:Rook was a multi-instrumentalist from Waverton, near Wigton, Cumbria Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G d2d>d d2c2|B2 B>B B2A2|G2 AB A2 Bc|B2 B>B B2 AB| c2B2 d2 cB|c2 d>e d2c2|(3BAB (3cBA G2F2|G2 G>G G2|| d2|d2 A>A A2B2|AGAB A2B2|c2B2A2G2|A2 A>A A2 B>c| d2 B>c d2 ec|d2 B>c d2 ec|dBcA (3BAG (3dcB|B2 A>A A2D2| G2 (3GAB A2 (3ABc|B2 (3Bcd c2 (3cde|(3Bgf (3gdB A2G2|G2 GG G2||



JOVE IN HIS CHAIR. AKA and see "Bedfordshire March," "King of Prussia's March," "Major Reed's March," "Odd Fellows' March (The)." Irish, English; March and Air (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "Jove and His Chair" is a piece from Dublin-born Kane O'Hara's (1711-1782) first publicly performed piece, the burletta Midas, staged in Dublin in 1760. It was a pastiche of Irish, English, French and Italian popular airs, linked by O'Hara's recitative, and bridged the gap between ballad opera and comic opera. O'Hara took it to the London stage at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden, in 1764.

The indicated melody O'Hara used for "Jove in His Chair" is "King of Prussia's March," with the following words, sung in the opening scene by a chorus of gods gathered in Olympus:

Jove, in his chair,
Of the sky Lor'd-May'r
With his nods
Men and Gods
Keeps in awe,
When he winks
Heaven shrinks,
When he speaks
Hell squeaks
Earth's globe is but his taw.

O'Hara has been criticized for trite and banal ideas and doggeral verse, but this march and air proved popular. As a march it was published in a number of latter 19th century instrumental tutors and martial music collections, while as a song it can be found in Calliope (1788). It was also entered into a number of period musicians' manuscript collections on both sides of the Atlantic.

The first strain of the tune is similar to "Turk's March (1)."


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