Molly Mogg (1)

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MOLLY MOGG [1]. English, Air and Country Dance Tune (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The tune was first printed by the London firm of Walsh & Hare in their The New Country Dancing Master, 3rd Book (1728), and subsequently by John Walsh in his The Third Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (London, 1735) and by his son (also John Walsh) in The Compleat Country Dancing-Master, volume the Sixth (London, 1754). John Johnson published it in his Wright's Complete Collection of Celebrated Country Dances (London, 1740), as did John Simpson in The Compleat Tutor for the Flute (London, 1745), and Robert Bremner in The Delightful Pocket Companion for the German Flute (London, 1763).

Wikipedia has an article on Molly Mogg [1], that records:

The Ballad of Molly Mogg (first published as "Molly Mogg, or the Fair Maid of the Inn") is a poem written by John Gay with contributions from Alexander Pope and Dean Swift. It is written about Molly Mogg, the beautiful barmaid at the Rose Inn, Wokingham, England. In the early 18th century, Gay, Swift and Pope were regular customers to the Rose Inn public house in Wokingham, which was run by John Mogg (though John Timbs identifies the public house as the Rose Inn in Covent Garden[2]) On one visit, they were forced to stay in the inn longer than planned due to a storm.[1] To pass the time, they wrote verses about Molly, the attractive eldest daughter of the landlord. The poem alludes to the melancholy mood of Edward Standen, the heir to Arborfield Manor and customer of the inn, who had fallen in love with (and was repeatedly rejected by) Molly.

Molly was born in 1699[5] and never married, despite her beauty.[6] She died a spinster at the age of 67 in 1766. Her death record named her as "Mary Mogg" and described her as "advanced in years but in her youth a celebrated beauty and toast, possessed of a good fortune that she has left among her relations". Her only brother had no son, so when Molly died the Mogg family name ended. Edward Standen died in 1730 at the age of 27.

The song "Molly Mogg" was issued on period songsheets, beginning in 1726. It begins:

Says my Uncle, I pray you discover,
What hath been the cause of your woes,
Why you pine and you whine like a lover?
I've seen Molly Mog of the Rose.

Oh, nephew, your grief is but folly,
In town you may find better prog;
Half-a-crown there will get you a Molly,
A Molly much better than Mog.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Wright (Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances, vol. 1), c. 1740; p. 47.

Recorded sources:




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