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LADY'S PLAYTHING. AKA - "The Ladies Play Thing." AKA and see "General Howe's March." English, Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody appears in Thompson's Complete Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3 (1773) and James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1 (1782, p. 2, where the alternate title "General Howe's March" is given—General Sir William Howe commanded the British army in America during 1775–78). It also appears in the music manuscript copybooks of Joshua Jackson (Harrogate, north Yorkshire, 1798), John Fife (Perthshire, Scotland, 1780–1804), William Hall Lister (East Boldon, near Newcastle, mid-19th century) and Rev. Robert Harrison (Brampton, Cumbria, 1820, in 40-bar versions), and in William Vickers 1770 manuscript (Northumberland) in 32 bars. In America the tune was printed in Norris & Sawyer's Village Fifer (Exeter, N.H., 1808), and in James Hulbert's A Variety of Marches (1805, Northampton, Mass.) and his Complete Fifer's Museum (Northampton, 1807). An American manuscript version can be found in the music copybook of Luther Kingsley (Mansfield, Ct., 1795–c. 1815). It was entered into the 1788 music manuscript copybook of flute player Ensign Thomas Molyneaux, 6th Regiment (Shelburne, Nova Scotia).
Source for notated version:
Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 5, p. 2.
Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 60.
Johnson (A Further Collection of Dances, Marches, Minuetts and Duetts of the Latter 18th Century), 1998; p. 12.
Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3), 1773; No. 73.