Katharine-Street

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KATHARINE-STREET. English, Jig. G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody was published by John Walsh in his Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, 1719), and republished in the 1735 and 1749 editions of that work. The title may refer to London's Katharine Street, "a very large and handsome Street, with good houses, well inhabited chiefly by noted Tradesmen, especially the East side not many Years since built. This Street cometh into the Strand against Somerset Yard Gate. On the West side is a pretty handsome Court, with a Free-Stone Pavement, neatly kept, called Blakes Court, as built by Sir Richard Blake the Owner thereof" (John Strype, A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, 1720). There seem to have been several booksellers and print makers in business on Katharine Street. A note the collected works of John Dryden (1631-1700) may provide another clue to the title It seems that the area was the location of a chocolate house, established around 1685 where theatre-goers went after an evening's performance if they were watching their pocketbooks, for chocolate cost only three-pence. The venue also attracted poor whores who were accustomed to wait there for customers, with introductions managed by the owner of the establishment. If a gentleman had to await one of the women, he did so in an upper room, where there were three mirrors. Katharine Street was an extension of Bridges Street from Exeter Street to the Strand, and has disappeared in modern London. However, Bridges Street has been renamed Catharine Street (Epilogue note, The Works of John Dryden, Vinton A. Dearing, ed., 1997).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 69.

Recorded sources:




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