Lamshaw's Fancy

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LAMSHAW'S FANCY. AKA - "Lamshaw of North Shields' Fancy," "Lambshaw's Favourite." English, Reel. England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. There were two Lamshaws, both renowned Northumbrian pipers: 'Old' William Lamshaw [1] (c. 1712-1798) and 'Young' William Lamshaw [2] (1780–1806), who was the grandson. The elder Lamshaw was an innkeeper at Morpeth and one of the Town Waits (hired musicians on the municipal payroll). He became the Duchess of Northumberland's piper in 1775 and was musical tutor to the famous Northumbrian piper John Peacock. Lamshaw the younger was piper to the Duchess of Northumberland, appointed at an early age after the death of his grandfather. William the younger died of Consumption and was buried in Christ Church, North Shields, his headstone paid for by an anonymous donor (identified only as "a gentleman amateur", and a musical admirer). There was at one time (since removed) a rather lengthy inscription on the stone by way of an epitaph said to have been written by one William Richardson:

When first Omnipotence, with wise design,
Ordain’d our being, - great creation’s plan!
Fair Harmony he form’d, to shed benign
Her balmy comforts o’er the minds of man.

Soft-breathing melodies o’er charm the heart,
The virtuous heart, and genial warmth inspire;
Sounds, boldly sweet, still rapt’rous joys impart,
Impel to actions which the good admire.

Here rests the dust of one whose self-taught strains,
Northumbria charm’d, though short on earth his stay;
Yet Hope now prompts, that in celestial plains
He swells the chorus of the heav’nly lay.

"Lamshaw's Fancy" is associated with Lamshaw the Younger.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 177. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 183.

Recorded sources: Topic Records, High Level Ranters - "Northumberland Forever - Traditional Dance & Song From The North East" (1997).




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