Merry Mortals (The)

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MERRY MORTALS, THE. English, Reel. England, Northumberland. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. While this tune seems to have been unique to William Vickers' 1770 manuscript, the phrase 'merry mortals' seems to have been in common usage. A popular 18th century book was called Jemmy Buck's Witty Jester; Or, The Merry Mortals Companion; Being an entire New and Curious Collection of Excellent Jests, Whimsicall Stories...Calculated for the Taste of the merry Fellows of the present Age (London, n.d., c. 1760). Another volume, from c. 1810, also uses the words: FUN ALIVE O! or; The Merry Mortals Companion; being the cream of all the Comical Capers, Droll Doings, Rum Writings, and Strange Stories, Which have been recorded in the last Century, and cannot be exceeded in the Age to come.

Source for notated version: the 1770 music manuscript of Northumbrian musician William Vickers, about whom, unfortunately, nothing is known [Seattle].

Printed sources: Seattle (Great Northern/William Vickers), 1987, Part 3; No. 227.

Recorded sources:




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