Punk's Delight

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PUNK'S DELIGHT, THE (New Way). English, Country Dance Tune (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody and dance instructions ("Longways for as many as will") were published by John Playford in his The English Dancing Master (London, 1651) and were retained in the long-running Dancing Master series through subsequent editions published by his son Henry, and then John Young. It was last published in the Dancing Master in the 18th and final volume of 1728 [1].

The tune "Punk's Delight" is mentioned in a couplet from John Taylor, the water-poet, in his A Cast over Water (1615), where he says:--

And for his action he eclipseth quite
The Gigge [Jig] of Garlick or the Punk's Delight;

Still earlier it is mentioned in a poem by Laurence Whitaker in Coryat's Crambe, etc. (1611): "Dittied to the most melifluous Comicall Ayre,...which the vulgar call, 'The Punk's Delight'." It was considered vulgar because a punk in Elizabethan England was another name for a harlot.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 44.

Recorded sources: Huntsup Records HUNTSUP CD1, The York Waits - "Popular Musick of the Seventeenth Century Played by a Band of Waites" (1992).

See also listing at:
Hear the tune played on solo fiddle by John Wright on youtube.com [2]

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