Rakes of Rochester (The)

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RAKES OF ROCHESTER. English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A very popular English country dance. The melody was first printed by John Walsh in his Caledonian Country Dances, vol. II (c. 1737), and later in his Fourth Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, 1747). It was followed by inclusion in John Johnson's Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 4 (London, 1748). “Rakes of Rochester” also appears in the music manuscript copybooks of London fiddlers Walter Rainstorp (1747) and Thomas Hammersley (1790), and English musician John Shepherd (1787).

Rochester is a town in Kent, one of a number of towns throughout Britain and Ireland whose rowdy young gentlemen were celebrated in "Rakes of...." tune titles.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3), 1788; No. 534, p. 203. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 93. Rutherford (Compleat Collection of 200 Country Dances, vol. 1), 1756; no. 30, p. 15. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), 1757; No. 172. Walsh (Caledonian Country Dances, vol. 2, Part 1), c. 1748; No. 319, p. 59.

Recorded sources: Bare Necessities – "Strong Roots."

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