Paul's Alley

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PAUL'S ALLEY. English, Triple Hornpipe or Jig (3/2 or 6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune and accompanying country dance ("Longways for as many as will") were printed in all four editions of John Young's The Second Volume of the Dancing Master (1710-1728) and in rival London publisher John Walsh's Second Book of the Compleat Dancing Master (1719, reprinted in 1736).

William Chappell (A Collection of National English Airs, 1840, p. 170) remarks:

The walks in and around the ancient Cathedral of St. Paul, in London, were formerly a great place of resort for persons desirous of hearing the news, or taking exercise before dinner. In "Micro-cosmographie, or a Peece of the World discovered," 1630, is the following description:

Paule's Walke is the land's epitome, or you may call it the lesser Ile of Great Brittaine. It is more than this; the whole world's map, which you may here discerne in its perfect'st motion, justling and turning. It is a heape of stones and men, with a vast confusion of languages; and were the steeple not sanctified, nothing liker Babel. The noyse in it is just like that of bees, a strange humming, or buzze, mixt of walking tongues and feete: it is a kinde of still roar, or loud whisper. It is the great exchange of all discourse, and no business whatsoever but is here stirring and afoote.

And again, in "The Pennyless Parliament of threadbare Poets; or, all Mirth and witty Conceits," 1608, No. 6, is;

In like manner it is agreed upon, that what day soever St. Paul's Church hath not, in the middle ile of it, either a broker, masterless man, or a pennyless companion, the usurers of London shall be sworn by oath to bestow a new Steeple upon it.

The common expression, "to dine with Duke Humphrey," applied to persons who, unable to procure a dinner, either with their own money, or from their friends, loiter about during dinner-time, originated thus: the aisle on the south side of the body of the Church was called "Duke Humfrey's Walke," not because he was buried there, but because, says Stowe, ignorant people mistook the fair monument of Sir John Beauchamp, son to Guy, and brother to Thomas, Earl of Warwick, who died in 1538, for that of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, who was buried at St. Albans, in Hertfordshire.

In the "Pennyless Parliament," &c. before quoted, is the following: "And if I prove not that a mince-pie is the better weapon, let me dine twice a week at Duke Humphrey's table." And in Nash's "Wonderful, strange, and miraculous prognostications for the Year 1591": "Sundry fellowes in their silkes shall be appointed to keepe Duke Humfrye company in Poules, because they know not where to get their dinners abroad."

There were a number of dissenting churches located in Paul's Alley, a thoroughfare in London, in the 18th century. An early-mid 18th century a coffee-house named Chapter in Paul’s Alley was the chosen rendezvous for publishers and booksellers. The alley was also near Grub Street, which drew London's journeymen writers and would-be poets. A Mr. Clark ran a dancing school in Paul's Alley.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 86. Thomas Wilson (A Companion to the Ball Room), London, 1816; p. 94. Walsh (Compleat Country Dancing Master, vol. II), 1719; p. 43. Young (The Second Volume of the Dancing Master) [1], 2nd edition, 1714; p. 26.

Recorded sources:




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