Outs and Inn's

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OUTS AND INNS. English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody is unique to Charles and Samuel Thompson's third country dance collection (London, 1773). "Outs and Inns" has been a common phrase since at least the early 18th century to denote a variety of contrasts, but often is used to refer to the changing tides of politics, as in this rhyme from The New Foundling Hospital for Wit; Being a Collection of Fugitive Pieces, in Prose and Verse, vol. 4 (1770, p. 135):

Of Outs and Ins, the common sins
Are public peculation;
Ins have been Outs, and Outs been Ins,
And both have robb'd the nation.

Since both alike one plan pursue,
Of mal-administration,
Of each sort raise a chosen few
To an exalted station.

My views are far from sinister
To work a reformation;
I'd make Jack Ketch* prime minister
Of each man's elevation.

  • Jack Ketch [1] was a near legendary executioner who died in 1686, infamous for his botched, grotesque beheadings.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3), 1773; No. 57.

Recorded sources:




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