Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom

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LAY THE BENT TO THE BONNY BROOM. English, Air (3/4 time, "slowly"). England, Northumberland. G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "'Lay the Bent' was communicated to the Local Historian's Table Book by Mr. J. H. Dixon, who found it in the Bodleian Library Collection of Ballads, in a folio printed in the reign of Charles II.; it also occurs in D'Urfey's Wit and Mirth, 1699, and in Jamieson's Popular Songs and Ballads, 1806. The melody is from D'Urfey's works, and is supposed to be the original and ancient tune" (Bruce & Stokoe). Chappell (1859) notes it appears in Pills to Purge Melancholy (Wit and Mirth); in the Pepys, Douce, and Halliwell Collections entitled "A noble riddle wisely expounded; or, The Maid's answer to the Knights three questions."

There was a lady in the North countrie,
Lay the bent to the bonny broom,
And she had lovely daughters three,
Faa la la la la la la la re. ... (Stokoe)

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), vol. 2, 1859; pp. 80-81. Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 76-78.

Recorded sources:




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