Orange Nan

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ORANGE NAN. English, Jig (3/2 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Orange Nan", tune and dance steps ("longways for as many as will"), appear in publisher John Young's third edition of the second volume of the long-running Dancing Master [1] series (third edition, London, 1718), included also in the fourth edition of the work issued in 1728. The jig was also printed by Walsh in Twenty-Four New Country Dances for the Year 1713 (published in 1712), and in his Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, 1719). Dance leader Graham Christian (writing in CDSS News, issue #192, 2006) explains that the title "Orange Nan" refers to Nan's occupation-that of a fruit seller, much like the former cigarette girls who hawked their wares on the street. The profession was a low one, but the orange girl became a staple of Restoration theatre--as a concession-with the girls engaging in asides with those on the stage or injecting witticisms. Sometimes the orange girls were characters on stage. One orange girl, informs Graham, was Nell Gwyn, who rose from theatre extra to actress to mistress of the King. In fact, many orange girls were also prostitutes or, if not outright streetwalkers, could be enticed for a fee. Nan Capell (or Ann Capel) was the original Orange Nan, according to author Harold Love (English Clandestine Satire 1660-1702), who was a bawd as well as holding the concession for the sale of oranges in the theatre. She was the Orange Nan who makes an appearance in Act I of The Man of Mode. She is remembered in a much lampooned incident with Francis, Lord Newport (first Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household), a notoriously mean individual and a Whig, the party then out of fashion. They quarreled publicly, some say over the price of whores provided to him, and Newport ended by bashing his white staff of office over Nan, then used his authority to have her taken away and whipped.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 98. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 84.

Recorded sources: Wildgoose Records WGS 310, Belshazzar's Feast - "Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance, vol. 2" (2002).

See also listing at:
See the dance performed on youtube.com [2]




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