Northumberland Bagpipes (The)

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NORTHUMBERLAND BAGPIPES, THE. AKA and see "Boyan (The)," "March Boys March," "Merry Bagpipes (The)," "To thee to thee." English, Air (4/4 time). England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC (Stokoe and Bruce): AABCC (Chappell). According to Chappell (1859) the this air appears in D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy (1700), Playford's Apollo's Banquet (1693) {where it appears under the title "A New Dance in the play of the 'Marriage Hater Match'd'"}, and Daniel Wright's Dancing Master {where it is called "Boyan (The)"}. Versions can also can be found in the Pepys V manuscript (circa 1690) and the Roxburgh and Bayford Collections as "The Merry Bagpipes: the pleasant pastime betwixt a jolly shepherd and a country damsel on a midsummer day in the morning, to the tune of 'March Boys.'" It was published on single broadside sheets at the beginning of the 18th century [1]. Bruce & Stokoe (1882) say the same tune was entered into a MS music book dated 1694-95 [2] (pp. 71-72), "inscribed with the name of Henry Atkinson, Hartburn, Northumberland, lately in the possession of Mr. W.A. Chatto, of London. The title of the tune in this book is 'To thee, to thee', which is the chorus of D'Urfey's song." Atkinson has another, incomplete, version in the same manuscript (pp. 100-101).

A shepherd sat him under a thorn,
He pull'd out his pipes and began for to play;
It was on a midsummer day in the morn,
For honour of that holiday.
A ditty he did chant along,
That goes to the tune of 'Cater Bordee;
And this was the burden of his song:
If thou wilt pipe, lad, I'll dance to thee,
To thee, to thee, derry, derry, to thee;
To thee, to thee, derry, derry, to thee;
And this was the burden of his song:
If thou wilt pipe, lad, I'll dance to thee. ... (Bruce & Stokoe)

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 2), 1859; p. 67. Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 107-108.

Recorded sources:




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