Annotation:New Road to Alston (The)

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X:1 T:New Road to Alston, The B:South Riding Tunebook I: Paul Davenport/South Riding Folk Network, 1996. S:Frank Kidson MSS N:An unusual form of Davy Davy Nick Nack L:1/8 Q:1/4=120 M:4/4 K:Amin A2 B2 c2 c2|A2 B2 c2 c2|edcB A2 A2|edcB A2 A2| A2 B2 c2 c2|A2 B2 c2 c2|e2 f2 edcB|A2 A2 A4:| e2 e2 c2 c2|a2 a2 e4|edcB A2 A2|edcB A2 A2| e2 e2 c2 c2|a2 a2 e4|e2 f2 edcB|A2 A2 A4:|]

NEW ROAD TO ALSTON. English, Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). England, Cumberland. A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Victorian-era musicologist Frank Kidson noted that Alston, at the time of his writing, was a "wild and remote district of Cumberland," although it had a significant lead-mining industry in the 19th century. The inventor of modern road-building, John Macadam, made a road to Alston from Penrith in the early 1800s. In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles recorded:

Alston.-- par. and market town, E. Cumberland, 36 miles ESE. of Carlisle by rail, 36,968 ac. (248 water), pop. 4621; P.O., T.O., 1 Bank. Market-day, Saturday. It has cotton and thread mfrs. and trade in minerals.

Kidson found the melody is from a Northumbrian piper's MS of about 1816. Knowles thinks the tune has "more of a French feel to it." Malcolm Douglas identifies it as a relative of "Davy Davy Knick Knack."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Kidson (Old English Country Dances), 1890; p. 22. Knowles (A Northern Lass), 1995; p. 5. John Offord (Bonny Cumberland), 2018; p. 39.

Recorded sources : - BLOWZABELLA1, Blowzabella - "Octomento" (2007). Folksound Records FSCD37, The Band of the Rising Sun - "Setting it Right" (1996). Wild Goose WGS392CD, Dave Townsend and Gill Redmond - "New Road to Alston."

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