Nutting Girl (The)

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NUTTING GIRL, THE. AKA – "Nutting Time," "Nutting We Will Go (A-)." English; Air, Morris Dance Tune (4/4 or 2/2 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB, AC, AC (Mallinson–Bampton): AABABABABA (Staton Harcourt): AABCBCB (Bacon–Bampton & Fieldtown): AABCBC. (Barnes): AAAABAAABCCCB (Bacon–Ducklington). An English folk song [Roud 509] and one of the most famous morris dance tunes, collected from the villages of Bampton, Ducklington, Fieldtown (Leafield, Oxfordshire), Rollo Woods (the 'C' part is a variation of the Bampton version), and Stanton Harcourt (Oxfordshire); all in England's Cotswolds. See also a version collected in Pennsylvania called "The Tune the Old Cow Died Of," from an old song (in popular local usage the foregoing phrase denoted any extremely bad piece of music). Several sets of words were married to the tune. One of the most popular begins:

Now come all you jovial fellows, come listen to my song,
It is a little ditty and it won't detail you long;
It's of a fair young damel, and she lived down in Kent,
Arose one summer's morning, and she a-nutting went.

With my fal-lal to my ral-tal-lal,
And what few nuts that poor girl had,
She threw them all away.

It's of a brisk young farmer, was ploughing of his land,
He called unto his horses, to bid them gently stand;
As he sit down upon his plough, all for a song to sing,
His voice was so melodious, it made the valleys ring.

See also the similar Irish 6/8 air "Low Backed Car (1)."

Source for notated version: Billy Wells [Bacon-Bampton].

Printed sources: Bacon (A Handbook of Morris Dances), 1974; pp. 51, 53a, 133, 167, 296. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 94. JEFDSS, 2nd Series, No. 2, p. 27. Mallinson (Mally's Cotswold Morris Book, vol. 1), 1988; No. 23, p. 17. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scotch and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 25.

Recorded sources: Ashley Hutchings – "Morris On" (1972). Carthage CGLP 4406, Hutchings et al – "Morris On" (1983/1972).

See also listing at: Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
See notes at the Mainly Norfolk site [2], and the Ballad Index [3]
Hear a pipe-and-tabor recording of the tune [4]
Hear the tune played on melodeon by Lester Bailey [5]

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