Pot Stick

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POT STICK. AKA and see "Lacrum Cosh," "Ligrum Cush," "Marquis of Granby (The)/Marquess of Granby (The)," "Over the Water to Charlie," "Quaker's Wife (The)," "Sean Buidhe/Sean Bui" (Yellow John (1)), "Shambuy (The)/Shambuie," "Wishaw's Delight." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Pot Stick = a plain round wooden porridge-stirrer. Slang usage for ‘pot stick’ meant a staff. Frank Kidson (1890) traces this tune extensively throughout its Scotch, Irish and English printings, but states the national origin of the melody "would be a difficult matter to settle." He finds it earliest in London publisher John Johnson's Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances of 1748 (p. 11), although it was published earlier in John Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, vol. 2 (c. 1737, No. 335). Somewhat later it appears under the Irish title "Shambuie" or "Shamboy" in Thompson's Country Dances (vol. I, c. 1759), Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. II (1760) and others. As "Marquis of Granby (The)," a song by G. A. Stevens, it is printed in James Aird's Selection of English and Foreign Airs vol. I, c. 1782), and as "Ligrum Cush" or "Lacrum Cosh" (another Irish title) it is in Hime's Dances and Smollet Holden's Irish Airs. The Scots poet Robert Burns mentions in a letter to publisher George Thomson that "Ligrum Cush" is a title given to the old Scotch melody, "Quaker's Wife (The)" (see note for "Quaker's Wife (The)"--this is not the same as the popular "Merrily Danced the Quaker's Wife"); however, they are not the same tunes, although there are similarities in the general phrasing and cadences. In Gow's 3rd Collection of Strathspeys Reels (1792) it is called "Wishaw's Delight." The jig's most famous attachment, however, is to the old song "Over the Water to Charlie," and under this title it appears in the Caledonian Pocket Companion Book 4 (1760), in Robert Bremner's Reels (c. 1759), and in the aforementioned Gow publication 3rd Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels (as “Original Set of O’er the Water to Charlie”). Kidson (Groves) notes that the air was set to a song in the opera Midas, and that a number of political songs were written to it in the 18th century, including a “famous son on the victories of the Marquis of Granby, then a popular hero.” Drinking songs as well were set to it, such as “Ye lads of true spirit lay courtship to Claret” and “I love to see the bottles a’rolling.”

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Kidson (Old English Country Dances), 1890; p. 9.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]




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