Parting Lovers (1) (The)
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PARTING LOVERS , THE. AKA and see "Jack on the Green (1)." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was published under this title in Charles and Samuel Thompson's Twenty-Four Country Dances for the Year 1776 (London, 1776), although, under alternate titles it has a considerably older history. It was printed as "Jack on the Green" in London publisher John Young's Second Volume of the Dancing Master (1726), reprinted by the Walshes, and even by Charles and Samuel Thompson in an earlier collection of 1757. It retained its popularity for over a century, however.
The tune and title may have been associated with Henry Carey's Nancy; or, The Parting Lovers, "A Musical Interlude," staged with success at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane in 1739. The piece shows "the force of love in low life," according to Erskine, Jones & Reed's Biographia Dramatica (1812), "and appears to have had a foundation in fact":
At the beginning of the late impress, the author saw a young fellow hurried away by a press-gang, and followed by his sweet-heart; a very pretty wench, and perfectly neat, though plain in her dress: her tears, her distress, and moving softness, drew attention and compassion from all who beheld her.
It was frequently revived at the beginning of a war, generally with success. A later adaptation was called True Blue; or, the Press Gang.
Source for notated version:
Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986.
Carlin (English Concertina), 1977; p. 20.
Porter (Apted Book of Country Dances).
Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 29.
Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 4), 1780; No. 95, p. 48.
Thompson (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1776), 1776; p. 48.