Annotation:Kill Him with Kindness

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X:1 T:Kill Him with Kindness M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Country Dance B:Young – Second Volume of the Dancing Master, 1st edition (1710, p. 101) K:Amin ea2 b^g2|ae2 dc/d/e|fd2 cB/c/d|c3BA2:|| ce2 fga|gd2 e f2|gf/g/a gfe|d3c c2| cc/d/e a e2|BB/c/d g d2|ef/e/d cBe|c3B A2||

KILL HIM WITH KINDNESS. English, Triple Hornpipe (3/2 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody first appears in London publisher Walsh & Randall's New Country Dancing Master, 2d Book (1710, p. 42), reprinted in Walsh & Hare's Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (1719) and in Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Sixth (1754). It was also published by John Young in his first edition of the Second Volume of the Dancing Master (1710) and included by him in the three subsequent editions of that work, ending with the last, printed in 1728. The melody has been attributed to English composer Henry Purcell, but this has yet to be verified and may be spurious. Graham Christian (2015) notes that the 3/2 time hornpipe melody would have seemed quite old-fashioned by the mid-18th century.

To 'Kill with kindness' is to overwhelm or harm someone with mistaken or excessive benevolence. According to the American Heritage Dictionary the expression originated as kill with kindness as fond apes do their young (presumably crushing them to death in a hug) and was a proverb by the mid-1500s. It famously appears in the title of Thomas Heywood's play A Woman Killed with Kindness (1607).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 55. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 610.

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