Queen of Hearts (1) (The)
X:1 T:Queen of Hearts , The M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune B:Aird – Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1 (No. 12, p. 5) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G d>edc|BGGB|cBAG|FDDA|BGGB|cAAg|fde^c|d2 d2:| |:FDFA|dAAc|BGBd|gdd=f|ecAc|dBGc|B/d/B/G/ A/c/A/F/|G2G2:|]
QUEEN OF HEARTS , THE. English, Country Dance or Polka. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A simple and popular tune for dancing and marching, which began life as a simple reel, being converted to a polka in the early 19th century. The first four bars of this tune are nearly the same as “Polly put the Kettle on (2).” Printed versions include James Aird (Glasgow, 1782). In England, the melody is contained in the Joseph Kershaw music manuscript. Kershaw was a fiddler who lived in Slackcote, Saddleworth, North West England, in the 19th century, and his ms. dates from around 1820 onwards. An imperfect version also appears (as "Queen of Harts") in the 1840 music manuscript collection of multi-instrumentalist John Rook, of Waverton, near Wigton, Cumbria. The tune was also set as a reel and entered into Book 2 of the large c. 1883 music manuscript collection of County Leitrim fiddler and piper Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894). Grier's first strain is quite similar to English versions, but the second strain diverges and is only generally similar.
American War of Independence-era versions include appearances in the music commonplace book of Oliver White, a Connecticut musician who began his ms. around 1775; Elias Boynton of Pepperell, Massachusetts, whose commonplace book dates from 1799; Luther Kingsley, of Mansfield Connecticut, who entered tunes in his ms. from 1795 to around 1815; Massachusetts musician Whittier Perkins, whose ms. collection began in 1790; and William Williams, a fifer from Pautuxit, Rhode Island, whose commonplace book dates to 1775. It was also included (as "Queen of Harts") in the 1776-1777 music copybook of fifer William Morris, who was with Captain William Tucker's Company, First Regiment, Hunterdon County Militia, New Jersey.