Lady Dainty

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LADY DAINTY. English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody was composed by dancing master Nathaniel Kynaston (1683–1757). Although very little is known about him, Kynaston appears to have been active from 1705 to about 1722 in the Shropshire/Wales border area. Walsh published some 120 of Kynaston's tunes and dances over several publications, this one from a 1710 volume. The Selattyn parish register in Shropshire records that a "Nathanial Kynaston, gent., & Mrs. Elizabeth Davies, both of Oswestry" married on August 25th, 1719—although whether this was the dancing master is unknown. Kynaston appears to have been a not uncommon name in Shropshire, and the family includes Sir Humphrey Kynaston, a notorious 16th century highwayman and Robin Hood figure, who preyed on the wool merchants of Shrewsbury.

Postdating Kynaston, 'Lady Dainty' was a character in Colley Ciber's Double Gallant,, played by famed actress Margaret Woffington (1714?–1760).

"Lady Dainty" was first published in Walsh & Randall's Second Book of the New Country Dancing Master (London, 1710) and again in Walsh and Hare's Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (1719). John Young also published it in his Second Book of The Dancing Master [1] (London, 1710), and retained it in the next three editions of that work (1714, 1718, 1728).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 71. Young (The Dancing Master, vol. 2), 1710; p. 186.

Recorded sources:




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