Pint of Derby (A)

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PINT OF DERBY, A. AKA - "Pint of Darby." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune dates the second decade of the 18th century when it was printed in London by John Walsh in his Second Book of the New Country Dancing Master (1710), Compleat Country Dancing Master, vol. II (1719, p. 141) and his Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master (1735, p. 143; 1749, p. 143); and by John Young in all four editions of his Second Volume of the Dancing Master [1] (1710-1728).

Derbyshire was renowned for its brewing. W.T. Marchant's volume In Praise of Ale: Or, Songs, Ballads, Epigrams, & Anecdotes Relating to Beer (1888, pp. 437-440) includes a piece called "A Dialogue between Claret and Darby Ale", advised as being "A kind of Aesop's fable in verse." The stage is set when a bottle of Darby enters and places himself too close to a half-flask of Claret standing on a table--Claret, affronted, begins:--

Claret. What slave art thou, impertinent and rude,
That dares upon my privacies intrude?
Speak quickly, wretch, and tell me who thou art,
They business too, or instantly depart.

Darby. Good words will breed no blisters on the tongue,
To call me slave or wretch you do me wrong;
If you provoke me, I perhaps can show
As much of birth and pedigree as you;
For by your poor straw jacket 'tis as plain
As by your questions you're no gentleman.

Darby. Good words will breed no blisters on the tongue,
To call me slave or wretch you do me wrong;
If you prooke me, I perhaps can show
As much of birth and pedigree as you;
For by your poor straw jacket 'tis as plain
As by your questions you're no gentleman.

Claret. Ill-judging fool, who doth by outsides guess,
And value things by their appearances;
My quality I may in time disclose,
But till I know your name we must be foes.

Darby. Since choler o'er your reason doth prevail,
I'll humour you--my name is Darby Ale.

The bantering goes on for some pages, before the bottles take their leave of each other, with no conclusion, each cursing those who drink from them with all kinds of maladies.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986.

Recorded sources:




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