Lads of Bonny Town

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LADS OF BONNY TOWN. AKA - "Lads of Bonnytown." AKA and see "Fast (The)." English, Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody appears in London publisher David Rutherford's Choice Collection of Sixty of the Most Celebrated Country Dances (London, 1750) and also his Rutherford's Compleat Collection of 200 country Dances, vol. 2 (1760).

"Lads of Bonny Town/Bonnytown" appears in a few 18th century musicians' manuscript copybooks, including that of James Biggins, from Leeds, Yorkshire (1779), and Henry Livingston, Jr (approx. the same period). Livingston purchased the estate of Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1771 at the age of 23. In 1775 he was a Major in the 3rd New York Regiment, which participated in Montgomery's invasion of Canada in a failed attempt to wrest Quebec from British control. An important land-owner in the Hudson Valley, and a member of the powerful Livingston family, Henry was also a surveyor and real estate speculator, an illustrator and map-maker, and a Justice of the Peace for Dutchess County. He was also a poet and musician, and presumably a dancer, as he was elected a Manager for the New York Assembly's dancing season of 1774-1775, along with his 3rd cousin, John Jay, later U.S. Chief Justice of Governor of New York. Under the title "Fast (The)" it was included in the c. 1840's music manuscript collection of Yorkshire fiddler Lawrence Leadley (1827-1897).

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