Northern Song (A)

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NORTHERN SONG, A. AKA and see "Corn Riggs," "Sawney & Jockey," "Sawney will ne'er be my love again." Scottish, English; Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The air was published by John Playford in 1679 as "Sawney & Jockey," and, a few years later, in his Choice Ayres and Songs (1681) where it appears as a song, "Sawney was tall," set to the tune "Northern Song" (no composer credit). The melody, set to political verses beginning "Sawney will ne'er be my love again," was printed in 180 Loyal Songs (1785). "Sawney & Jockey" is also the name another song by D'Urfey with a different lyric and tune, leading to some confusion. The melody also appears in Allan Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany (1725) as the poem "Corn Riggs," and, with the music in Ramsay's Orpeheus Caledonius (1733). "Corn Rigs" is also a title that has also been applied to different melodies),. Mid-19th century antiquarian William Chappell believed Thomas Farmer may have been the composer, but John Glenn (Early Scots Melodies, 1900) offers rebuttal and maintains Chappell has not made his case. The melody is claimed by both English and Scots.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Merryweather (Tunes for the English Bagpipe), 1989; p. 43.

Recorded sources:




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