Pilgrim (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Pilgrim [1], The M:6/8 L:1/8 S:Henry Playford – Dancing Master, 11th Ed. (1701) K:D A|FAF D2F|A2d d2e|fgf fga|e3 A2A| FAF D2F|A2d d2e|fgf fge|(d3 d2):| |:e|eAe eae|eAe eae|fga a2^g|(a3 a2)a| aff fdd|dAA FAF|def f>ed|(d3 d2):||



PILGRIM [1], THE. AKA and see "Lord Foppington (2)." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. “The Pilgrim” was first printed as a longways dance (“for as many as will”) in the 11th edition of Henry Playford's Dancing Master (London, 1701), and appears in all subsequent editions of the long-running series, through the 18th (published by John Young in 1728). Playford also published the tune as a "Rigadoon" in the fourth volume of Apollo's Banquet (1701). The title references two stage productions of playwright Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726).

Colley Cibber as Lord Foppington

The alternate title “Lord Phoppington” (“Lord Foppington”) appears in each edition (not to be confused with another Playford melody in the 11th edition called “Lord Phoppington or the new Lord Phoppington”). The jig was also published by the Walsh family in The Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, 1718, and editions of 1731 and 1754), with the same title and alternate title. Lord Phoppington was a burlesque character in John Vanbrugh’s [1] The Relaspe, or Virtue in Danger, performed in Drury Lane in Nov., 1696, a work that questioned the justice of women's position in marriage at the time. The play was a sequel to Colley Cibber’s Love’s Last Shift, or Virtue Rewarded, and Cibber himself played Lord Foppington in Vanbrugh’s play. It was successful enough to pull the theater out of imminent bankruptcy. It was the sequel, The Pilgrim, that was the surviving work, of greater fame. The character Lord Foppington was also imported from the previous play, and was a brilliant re-creation of Cibber's Sir Novelty Fashion in Love's Last Shift. In The Relapse, Vanbrugh has raised Sir Novelty to the peerage by virtue of having bought himself the title of "Lord Foppington" through the corrupt system of Royal title sales. The character has been called "the greatest of all Restoration fops", by virtue of being not merely laughably affected, but also "brutal, evil, and smart."

The main title of the tune, "The Pilgrim," references the original stage production, The Pilgrim (based on a prose romance by Lope de Vega), and was a late Jacobean comedy by John Fletcher performed at Court during the Christmas season of 1621. The Pilgrim was both revived and adapted during the Restoration era, as were many of Fletcher's plays. Sir John Vanbrugh made a prose adaptation of Fletcher's verse original that premiered at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1700, with a Prologue, Epilogue, and a "secular masque" written by John Dryden shortly before his death. Vanbrugh's revived production has a story (related in W.C. Ward's Sir John Vanbrugh, 1893) akin to the proverbial starlet who is discovered in a Hollywood drug store:

Anne Oldfield by Edward Fisher, after Jonathan Richardson mezzotint, circa 1760-1785

The Pilgrim enjoyed a long run. Its success was largely due to the impression made by a young and hitherto unknown actress, who, in the character of Alinda, " charm'd the Play into a Run of many succeeding Nights." Anne Oldfield, who subsequently became the most celebrated actress of her time, had been discovered, about a year previously, by Farquhar, who chanced to overhear her reading a comedy to herself, in a room behind the bar of a tavern kept by a relative of hers. Struck by the girl's beauty and intelligence, Farquhar " took some Pains to acquaint Sir John Vanbrugh with the Jewel he had found thus by Accident," and upon Vanbrugh's recommendation Mrs. Oldfield obtained an engagement at the Theatre Royal. There, however, she remained about a twelvemonth " almost a Mute, and unheeded,"t until Vanbrugh gave her, with the part of Alinda, the opportunity, which was all she required, of recommending herself to the public. She played this part on the occasion of her benefit, July 6, 1700.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford’s Dancing Master), 1985; No. 462, p. 106. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 88. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 612.






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