Saw You My Father?

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X:1 T:Saw you my Father M:2/4 L:1/8 B:Thompson’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3 (London, 1773) Z:Transcribed and edited by Fynn Titford-Mock, 2007 Z:abc’s:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D D>EF>G|A2A2|B2 g>e|dcTBA|d2 dc|TcBTBA|1 A2 z2:||2 A2 z| |:G|F>EF>d|{G}F2 ED|E>DEF|G2 G>B|BAFA|AGFE|1 D3:||2 D4||



SAW YE MY FATHER. Scottish, Air and Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). B Flat Major (Ashman/Moore): D Major (Thompson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A very popular tune that appears in numerous latter 18th century British Isles publications and manuscripts. There are seven bars in each part of the tune in the Thompson and Vickers collections. The editor of "The Native Music of Ireland, No. 32", published in The Citizen; or Dublin Monthly Magazine (vol. IV, No. XXIV, October, 1841, p. 209) noted that this tune is a member of tunes formed with phrases of four bars and three bars, "which is the division of the ordinary Psalm tune, in "Common Measure"." Others in this category are the air for "Lord Gregory" (Smith's Scottish Minstrel, vol. 3) and "Small is my inclination to sleep." The melody is to a Scottish version of a song called “Grey Cock (The)” (which, in country dance versions, takes its name from the first line). "Marie Me Marie Me Quoth the Bonie Lass" (see below), from the Skene Manuscript (1615-1630) has been posited as an ancestral tune to Saw ye nee my father." "Saw ye my father," published by David Herd (1769), begins:

Saw you my father, saw you my mother,
Saw you my true love John?
He told his only dear that he would soon be here,
But he to another is gone.

Published dance versions include Thompson and Son’s Compleat Tutor for the English Flute (London, 1768), Charles and Samuel Thompson’s third country dance collection (London, 1773), Samuel, Ann and Peter Thompson’s Compleat Instructions for the Fife (London, 1786), Straight and Skillern’s Two Hundred and Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1 (London, 1775), T. Skillern’s Compleat Collection of Two Hundred and Four Reels, Country Dances (London, 1780), and Longman, Lukey, and Broderip’s Pocket Book for the German Flute (London, 1778). The air can also be found on numerous song sheets issued by British and American printers. In America, “Saw You My Father” was entered into the music manuscript copybooks of Luther Kingsley (1795, Mansfield, Conn.), flute player John Hoff (1797, Lancaster County, Pa.), and New York flute player Micah Hawkins (1797).

X:1 T:Marie Me Marie Me Quoth the Bonie Lass M:C L:1/8 S:Skene Manuscript (v. 1615-1630) B:Dauney - Ancient Scottish Melodies ( p. 239). Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D [D2d2]d2 [A2a2]a2|bc'd'b [A2c'2]a2|[d3d'3]c' [g2b2]b2|[A4a4] A,4|| [D2d'2]a2 2 ag|[df]efg [D2a2]f2|[Gg]a b2 [c2a2]e2|[D8d8]|| dBde d2d2|afab a2a2|babc' d'2b2|[A3c'3]a [B3d'3]c| b2 ab d'baf|[A,6A6a6||bc'|d'2 [A2a2]b2 ag| [D2df2]e2 defg|[D2a2]f2 ga b2 a/b/|[A2a2]e2[D4d4]||

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - a c. 1837-1840 MS by Shropshire musician John Moore [Ashman].

Printed sources : - Ashman (The Ironbridge Hornpipe), 1991; No. 55b, p. 21. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3), 1773; No. 16.

Recorded sources: -



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