Mad Moll (1)
X:1 T:Mad Moll. (p)1698.PLFD1.385 T:Peacock Followed The Hen,aka. (p)1698.PLFD1.385 M:9/4 L:1/4 Q:3/4=120 S:Playford, Dancing Master,9th Ed,extra pages(9C),1698. O:England;London H:1698 Z:Chris Partington K:C A||:c>decAAcAA|c>decAAB2G| c>decAAcAA|B>cdd>edB2G:| |:c>de(ge)e(ge)e|c>de(ge)eg2d| c>de(ge)e(ge)e|B>cdd>edB2G:|
The tune was the vehicle for a country dance call "Virgin Queen", and appears under that title in Playford's Dancing Master of 1703 and later editions, and as "Yellow Stockings" (the name of another dance) it is in Wright's North Country Frisks (1713) and in the ballad opera The Boarding School (1733). See Borders and Northumbrian versions under the titles "Cuddle Me Cuddy" and "Peacock Follows the Hen (The)." As "Mad Moll" the tune appears in Burton Leonard, Yorkshire, miller and fiddler Joshua Jackson's (1763-1839) music manuscript copybook (kept from 1798 until about 1820). Other titles in the tune family include "Brose and Butter," "Hey My Nanny/Hey My Nancy," "Honeymoon (The), "Dusty Miller (The)," "Faraway Wedding," "Follow Her Over the Border," "Cudgel (The)," "Jerry Houlihan" "Kitten (The)," and "Drops of Brandy."
"Mad Moll " was also the vehicle for songs in the ballad operas Momus turned Fabulist (1729) and The Jealous Clown; or, The Lucky Mistake (1730). Use of melodies in ballad operas and for dancing was a two-way street, with much traffic between the two. Playwrights and producers may have been attempting to make their products accessible to a general audience by employing relatively well-known or popular tunes for songs, or, as Bruce Olson suggested, perhaps publishers reused plates from their country dance collections when they needed to insert an air in their opera publications, and selected melodies that scanned to the words.