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MORPETH LASSES. English, Reel or Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). England, Northumberland. A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB (Sharp): AAB (Stokoe & Bruce). The town of Morpeth is in Northumberland, a market center on the River Wansbeck serving the surrounding rural areas and the villages of the Northumbrian coalfield (Graham Dixon). It evolved around a Norman fortress called Morpeth Castle, one of several guarding the east coast routes to Scotland. The tune is said to have been published by Playford, although it does not appear in the long-running Dancing Master series under the "Morpeth" title. Barnes (2005) suggests it as a vehicle for the dance "Maine Chance" (by Marty Fager), and it is the staple tune for Yorkshire's "Ampleforth Longsword Dance." See also the closely related "George Carnegie's Strathspey," "Inverara Rant," "Lady Warkworth's Reel (1)," "I Wish You Wou'd Marry Me Now," "Marry Me Now," and "Proposal (2) (The)."
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 87. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 61. Stokoe & Bruce (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 178.
Recorded sources: Horseplay - "Roughshod" (2006).