Petticoat Loose (3)

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X:1 T:Petticoat Loose [3]. or Curickle M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune B:John Walsh – Caledonian Country Dances vol. II (1737, No. 311, p. 51) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Amin B|c2A BGE|c2A BGE|GAG G2d|GAG G2B| c2A BGE|c2A BGE|ABA A2e|ABA A2:| |:B|cde def|edc BAG|g>ag gdB|g>ag gdB| cde def|edc dcB|ABA A2e|ABA A2:|]

PETTICOAT LOOSE [3]. AKA and see “Captain's Lady,” “Come try't again,” “My Petticoat's Loose,” “My Petticoats lowse, "Petticoat Loop (The)," "Tie the Petticoat Tighter.” English, Scottish, Irish; Jig (6/8 time). G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Howe, Kerr): AAB (Gow, Lowe, Mackintosh): AABB (Williamson). The melody appears first in print in John Walsh's Country Dances Selected, part 1 (London, c. 1737 & 1748, also called Caledonian Country Dances, volume ii, part i, p. 51), John Johnson’s Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 4 (London, 1748), and again in Walsh's London publishers Charles and Samuel Thompson published it in their 1757 country dance collection, and again in their 1758 tutor for the hautboy (oboe). Across the Channel, it was included in Benoit Andrez’s Recueil de Contredances Angloises (Liege, 1780). John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies, 1900) suggested a Scottish provenance, evidently on the basis of the tunes inclusion in Walsh's Caledonian volume, and says: "Walsh's version of the tune is better and more Scottish in character than that given by [William] Chappell, which we presume he has taken from Thompson. The tune has long been known as a Scottish Jig." The melody was published by the Gows in Edinburgh toward the end of the 18th century, but James S. Kerr, publishing a century later in Glasgow, Scotland, identified the tune as Irish (albeit a different tune than the Irish tunes printed by O'Neill as "Petticoat Loose (2)" and "Petticoat Loose (1)"). There is no other evidence to assign an Irish provenance for the jig, which, at any rate has a long history in English tradition. The Thompsons printed the tune on the same page with “Breeches Loose (2),” enhancing the mildly risqué interpretation of the titles.

In Ireland, County Leitrim fiddler and piper Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894) entered a version in his large music manuscript collection as "Petticoat Loop (The)." "Petticoat Loose [3]" also can be found in Book 1 (p. 28) and Book 2 (p. 175)[1] of the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork uilleann piper and Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman (musicologist) (1828-1896).

The tune was also entered into the c. 1776-1778 music copybook of fifer Thomas Nixon Jr. [2] (1762-1842), of Framingham, Connecticut. Nixon was a thirteen-year-old who accompanied his father to the battles of Lexington and Concord, and who served in the Continental army in engagements in and around New York until 1780, after which he returned home to build a house in Framingham. The copybook appears to have started by another musician, Joseph Long, and to have come into Nixon’s possession.

In England, Northumbrian musicians William Vickers, Joseph Crawhall (1821-1896) and John Bell (1783-1864) included it in their respective 1770, 1872 and c. 1812 music manuscript collections [3]. As "Petticoate Loose" it was entered in the mid-19th century music manuscript of William Winter, a shoemaker and violin player who lived in West Bagborough in Somerset, southwest England.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Anonymous (A Companion to the reticule), 1833; p. 8. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 1), 1799; p. 10. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 124. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 280, p. 30. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 6), 1844-45; p. 23. Robert Mackintosh (A Fourth Collection of New Strathspey Reels, also some Famous old Reels), 1804; p. 31. Hugh and Lisa Shields (Tunes of the Munster Pipers vol. 2), 2013; No. 691. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), 1757; No. 197. Walsh (Country Dances Selected, Part 1), 1748; No. 311, p. 51 [4]. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 61. Geoff Woolfe (William Winter’s Quantocks Tune Book), 2007; No. 82, p. 38 (ms. originally dated 1850).

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