Primrose Girl (4)

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X:1 T:Primrose Girl [4], The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air N:Melody line to song only transcribed B:Pownall & Hewitt - Six Songs for the Harpsichord or Pianoforte (1794) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G G|ddd d2e|ABc {c}B2 d/c/|BGG GEc|GFG {B}A2 d/c/|BGG cAA| de=f {f}!fermata![c2e2]G|g (g/e/)(g/e/) dBz|g(g/e/)(g/e/) dBz|cBe (d!fermata!g) (c/d/4e/4)|{e}d2 F G2z||



PRIMROSE GIRL [4] English, American; Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. This English broadside song [Roud No: V5448] air appears in several American instrumental tutors, song collections, and music and dance manuscripts in the early decades of the 19th century. It was sung in New York's Columbia Garden by Mrs. Hodgkinson on July 6, 1798. It originally was heard in the pantomime The Sultan (1790), music by prolific songwriter John Moulds, sung by Mrs. [Maria Theresa] Bland at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Printed versions can be found in Pownall & Hewitt's Six Songs for the Harpsichord or Pianoforte [1] (New York, 1794, No. 8, p. 16) and Bland & Weller's New and Compleat Instructions for the Clarionet (London, c. 1798). The ballad goes:

Come buy of poor Kate, primroses I sell,
Thro' London's fam'd city I'm known mighty well;
Tho' my heart is quite sunk, yet I constantly cry,
Come who'll buy primroses, who'll buy primroses,
Who'll buy primroses, who'll buy, who'll buy.

Friends and parents I've none, I am look'd on with scorn,
Ah! better for me that I ne'er had been born,
Tho' poor I am honest, and oft heave the sigh,
While crying primroses, who'll buy primroses,
Who'll buy primroses, who'll buy, who'll buy.

Ir pity to virtue were ever allied,
The tear of compassion ne'er yet was denied,
Then pity poor Kate, who plaintively cries,
Come who'll buy primroses, who'll buy primroses,
Who'll buy primroses, who'll buy, who'll buy.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - the music manuscript of ship's fiddler William Litten, 1800-1802 [Huntington]. Litten sailed with the British East India Fleet on a voyage to the Orient at the turn of the 19th century. His manuscript came into the possession of an American seaman, Allen Coffin, who brought it home with him to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, in the early 19th century.

Printed sources : - Huntington (William Litten's Fiddle Tunes 1800-1802), 1977; p. 31. Riley (Flute Melodies, vol. 2), New York, 1817; p. 85.

Recorded sources: -



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