X: 1 T:Sage Leaf. (p)1670.PLFD1.211 M:6/4 L:1/4 Q:3/4=70 S:Playford, Dancing Master,4th Ed.,1670. O:England;London H:1670. Z:Chris Partington K:G dg=f ecf|d>c B/2A/2 B G2|dg=f ecf|d>cB/2A/2 B G2:| |:B2 c d2B|e2 d cdB|A2 G F>EF|G6:| |:d2 c B>AG|def g3|d2 c B>AG|de>f g3| d2 c B>cd|e2 d c>dB|A2 G F>EF|1G6:|2G3 G2| |:G|F>GA AFD|G>AB BAG| F>GA AFD| G3-G2:| |:G|B2cd2B|e2dc>dB|A2GF>EF|1G3-G2|2G6|]
SAGE LEAF. English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDDAA (Raven, Sharp): AABBCCDDA'A' (Karpeles). The melody was first published with directions for a country dance in the 4th edition of London publisher John Playford's Dancing Master. It was retained in the long-running series of Dancing Master editions through the 18th and final edition of 1728 (published at the time by John Young, heir to the Playford publishing concerns). "Sage Leaf" was also printed by rival London publisher John Walsh in his Compleat Country Dancing Master editions of 1718, 1731 and 1754.
The third and fourth strains are repeated as many times as there are couples dancing.
The Latin name of sage originates from the old Latins, who called it a salvation plant (salvare meaning “save, cure”). Even today sage is a mandatory plant in all Catholic monasteries. Sage was thought invaluable as a tonic, and being a tasty herb for cooking and a fine tea substitute as well, it was recommended and enjoyed for daily use. Sage was often employed as a gargle, being very soothing for a sore throat, but it has been ascribed a wide variety of uses, being said to stay the bleeding of wounds, clean an ulcer, and help ease pains of the head and joints. It was prescribed to women with difficult courses, and sometimes used during dangerous childbirths. In sixteenth century England sage tea was a popular beverage before conventional tea became commonplace, and for those desiring something a little stronger, a brew called sage ale was made. In the 17th century, it was believed that the condition of a home's sage bush reflected the financial state of the home. If the sage bush was flourishing, finances were also.