Pretty Poll

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PRETTY POLL. AKA - "Pretty Poll, a Pleasant Dialogue between a Parret and His Master," "Pretty Parrot Say," "Pretty Polly Say," "Pretty Polly (6)." English, Air and Country Dance Tune (3/4 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB. The melody and dance instructions appear in all four editions of London publisher John Young's Second Volume of the Dancing Master (p. 106), beginning with the first edition of 1710. It was also published that same year by Walsh and Randall in their New Country Dancing Master, 2nd Book, and in a later Walsh publication,The Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (London, 1719).

Theater singer John Freeman (c. 1666-1736) wrote the tune to the c. 1705 song version, called "Pretty Poll, a Pleasant Dialogue between a Parret and His Master," for a song translated from French. In it a parrot tells his master that while he was away:

We are gay, night and day,
Good cheer and mirth renewing;
Singing, laughing all
Singing, laughing all, like pretty pretty Poll.

The song was printed on broadside sheets, and appears in John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1729) as "Pretty Parrot, say" (see note for "Pretty Polly (6)" for more).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources:




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