X:1 T:Merry Wakefield M:9/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S:William Clark of Lincoln music manuscript collection (1770, No. 12, p. 8) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G Bd(g g)dB gdB|cea afg f2d|Bd(g g)dB gdB|(B/c/dB) e/f/gB A2G:| |:Bc(d d)BG AFD|EFG ABc Tc2B|gdB ecA dBG|(B/c/dB) (e/f/gB) A2G:|]
MERRY WAKEFIELD. AKA and see "Harlequin Shipwreck'd," "Shipwreck (2)." English, Slip Jig (9/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Kidson (1890) notes the epithet 'Merry' has been applied to the Yorkshire town of Wakefield "from time immemorial, and there are many very old songs in which this term is used." The melody is from David Rutherford's Complete Collection of 200 of the Most Celebrated Country Dances (London, 1756, p. 34), although earlier published in Merry Medley (1744), and, even earlier, in John Johnson's Choice Collection of 200 Favorite Country Dances vol. 3 (London, 1744, as "Harlequin Shipwrecked"), Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, vol. 3 and in Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master vol. 6 (London, 1756, as "Harlequin Shipwrecked"). Later in the 18th century it was published in Longman and Broderip's Compleat Collection of 200 Favorite Country Dances (London, 1781, p. 54). It appears in the 1790 music manuscript copybook of Thomas Hammersley, a London musician, the 1770 copybook of William Clarke (Lincoln), the late 18th century copybook of Thomas Watts (Peak Forest, Derbyshire), and in the 1770 music manuscript book of Northumbrian musician William Vickers (where is appears as "Merry Wakefield or the Shipwreck"). In America, "Merry Wakefield" shows up in the 1782 music commonplace book of Jeremiah Brown, a musician from Seabrook, on New Hampshire's coast.