Maltman (1) (The)

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MALTMAN [1] (COMES A/ON MONDAY), THE. AKA and see "Sir Roger de Coverley," "Old Roger a Coverdill," "Old Sir Roger a Coverdill." Scottish, English; Triple Hornpipe and Country Dance Tune (9/8 time). G Major (Bremner, Gow, Young): D Major (Johnson): B Flat Major (Knowles). Standard or Scordatura (ADae) tuning (fiddle). AABBCC (Bremner, Gow, Young): AABBCCDDEEFFGGHH (Knowles): AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHIIJJKKLL--- MMNNOOPPQQRRSSTTUU (Johnson {theme and variations}). A version of the seventeenth century country dance "Sir Roger de Coverly." The title comes from the first line of Allan Ramsay's words to the tune, published in his Tea-Table Miscellany (vol. 3, 1723); a maltman is one whose trade is to make malts e.g. for brewing. Robert Dauney (Ancient Melodies of Scotland, 1838, p. 260) says that the "Maltman" title appears in a Scottish manuscript dated 1706, in the possession of a Mr. Laing. Dauney implies that, "at a time when Ramsay was pursing the humble vocation of a wig-maker, and several years before he had ventured into the regions of rhyme" that the tune married to the maltman title predated the poet. Ramsay's risque lyric goes:

The maltman comes on Monday,
He craves wonder sair,
Cries, Dame, come gi'e me my siller,
Or malt ye sall ne'er get mair.
I took him into the pantry,
And gave him some good cock-broo,
Syne paid him upon a gantree,
As hostler wives should do.

When maltmen come for siller,
And gaugers with wands o'er soon,
Wives, tak them a' down to the cellar,
And clear them as I have done.
This bewith, when cunzie is scanty,
Will keep them frae making din,
The knack I learn'd frae an auld aunty,
The snackest of a' my kin.

The maltman is right cunning,
But I can be as slee,
And he may crack of his winning,
When he clears scores with me:
For come when he likes, I'm ready;
But if frae hame I be,
Let him wait on our kind lady,
She'll answer a bill for me.

A commentary on the song in George Chalmer's The Works of Allan Ramasy, vol. 2 (1851) explains:

The genuine pithy humour of this clever song is in Ramsay's best manner; the air is reckoned very old, and an air in those days (when sounds were unwelcome which conveyed no meaning) seldom went out unattired with words. This ready-witted landlady seems to have been a descendant or fried of the far-famed wife of Whittlecockpen, in whose praise some old minstrel has sung with less delicacy than humour. They arranged a payment of their debts and entertained their visitors in the same agreeable way. Even the manner in which she proposes to charm the gauger is hereditary in her family; and a similar spirit of good will and accommodation also belongs to the 'kind lady', the owner, perhaps, of the house. I have heard this song often making wall and rafter ring again, when the liquor was plenty and the ways weary, on the night of a summer fair.... [Cunningham]

The tune appears in the Drummond Castle Manuscript (in the possession of the Earl of Ancaster at Drummond Castle), inscribed "A Collection of Country Dances written for the use of his Grace the Duke of Perth by Dav. Young, 1734," and in Young's MacFarlan Manuscript (c. 1740, pp. 76-82) compiled for Sir Walter MacFarlan of MacFarlane (where the tune is set in 32 sets). It was published in Robert Bremner's 1757 collection (p. 47), and James Oswald included "The Malt-Man Comes on Monday" in his Caledonian Pocket Companion, book 9 (p. 9), printed in London in 1760. It was also included in the 1840 music manuscript of Waverton, Cumbria, musician John Rook (p. 189). "Malt Man" was published in A. Reinagle's A Selection of the Most Favorite Scot Tunes, published in Philadelphia in 1787 (p. 9), and in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1797, p. 445). "The Maltman or Roger the Cavalier" title for the tune "Roger de Coverley" can also be found in Patrick Cuming's c. 1723 music manuscript collection (Edinburgh?).

Source for notated version: Bremner's 1759 Scots Tunes, p. 18 [Johnson].

Printed sources: Bremner (Scots Reels), c. 1757; p. 47. Carlin (Gow Collection), 1986; No. 462. Ditson (The Boston Collection of Instrumental Music), c. 1840; p. 86. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 2), 1802; p. 17. Johnson (Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century), 1984; No. 33, pp. 89-91. Knowles (A Northern Lass), 1995; p. 22. Wilson (Companion to the Ball Room), 1816; p. 23. David Young (Drummond Castle/Duke of Perth Manuscript), 1734; No. 11. David Young (The MacFarlan Manuscript), c. 1740; No. 40, pp. 76-82.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
See a complete standard notation transcription of the melody with variations from David Young's MacFarlan Manuscript (c. 1740) [1]




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