Old Nick's Lumber Room

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OLD NICK'S LUMBER ROOM. AKA – "Pawnbroker (The)," "Pawnbroker's Warehouse." English, Country Dance Tune & Jig (6/8 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. One of the "missing tunes" from William Vickers' 1770 Northumbrian dance tune manuscript collection. Old Nick, a euphemism for the Devil that dates, in writing, to the year 1643, is said to have derived from association of Niccoló (i.e.'Nick') Machiavelli (1469–1527) with things diabolical. Old Nick was said to have a 'lumber room' filled with bones; thus Hell would by 'Old Nick's Lumber Yard'. The tune was first published (along with the alternate title, as in the Thompson publication) in R. Baldwin's London Magazine, or The Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (London, October, 1759, p. 550).

The jig has been adopted for Scottish Country Dancing and appears in the RSCDS books. Jack Campin finds a version called "The Pawnbroker" published in Edinburgh on a single sheet by Muir Wood & Co. around 1800.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 2), London, 1765; No. 33.

Recorded sources:




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