Annotation:Oil of Barley

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X: 1 T:B450- Stingo, or Oil of Barley, or Cold and Raw S:Dancing Master, 1651 [see next also] Q:1/4=120 L:1/4 M:6/4 K:Gm G2Gd2B|cA2F2F|G2Gd2B|G3B3| G2Gd2B|cA2F2F|G2Gd2B|G3B3|| B2BB2A/B/|c2cc2c|d2dg2g d3f3|B2BB2A/B/|c2cc3/2d/e|d3/2c/BcA2|G3B3|]

OIL OF BARLEY. AKA - "Oyle of Barley (The)." AKA and see "Stingo," "Cold and Raw," "Juice of Barley (1)," and "Lulle/Lull Me Beyond Thee." English, Air. A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Oil of Barley," or "Stingo," is a country dance ("Longways for as many as will") and tune that first appears in London publisher John Playford's first edition of the English Dancing Master [1] (1651, p. 10), although "Oil/Oyle of Barley" was always given as an alternate title in the first and subsequent editions. By the 1695 edition of the Dancing Master (published by son Henry Playford) the melody appeared under the similar title "Juice of Barley (1)." 'Oil of barley' is a euphemism for strong beer (as is the related term 'barley broth'). Thomas D'Urfey employed the melody as a vehicle for his song "Cold and Raw, the North did blow."

Bruce Olson found reference to 'oil of barley' in the following ballad stanzas; the first, from the chorus of Laurence Price's "Good Ale for my Money" (directed to be sung to "The Country Lass") goes:

I cannot go home, or I will I not go home,
it's long of the oyle of Barly;
Ile tarry all night for my delight,
and go home in the morning early.

The second is contained in a song called "Johnny & Molly's Garland" in a Scottish manuscript dating to the 1740's, wherein the 11th verse goes:

I cannot go home I will not go home
till I taste of the oyl of the barley
I'll tarry all night with my hearts delight
and go home in the morning early.

The term 'oil of barley', meaning 'beer', was still in use at least until the mid-19th century, for it appears in George W. Matsell's 1859 book The Secret Language of Crime. The author was a former Chief of Police of New York City, and his volume was a comprehensive dictionary of the criminal; a 'Rogues Lexicon'.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - O'Farrell (Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, vol. III), c. 1808; p. 62.

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]

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