X:1 T:Sernade [sic] , The—A Retreat M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Retreat March S:Thomas Nixon Jr./Joseph Long copybook (c. 1776-78) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G>D B>G d>c|cd e2d2|Fe e>cA>G|G2F2A2| BA/B/ cB/c/ d2|d2 de d2|g>d e>d c>B|B2 A4:| |:(BA)(GF)(ED)|AB c2B2|(A/B/)(c/d/) ec AG|G2 F2 G/D/B/G/| d2B2 (c/d/)(e/f/) |g4 G/B/d/g/|f/e/d/c/ B2A2|G6:|]
SERENADE . English, Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A song air employed as a march, printed in Longman, Lukey & Broderip’s A Pocket Book for the German Flute (London, 1778). It was printed on song-sheets and in period songsters as The Serenade, or A Favorite Song. The humming bird. A collection of the most celebrated English and Scots songs (London, 1785) prints the lyric without music on p. 214 (No. 370), that begins:
Waft to her ears, kind gentle breeze,
A hapless lover’s lay,
Tell her while the lays at ease
I die, I die away.
This to her tender bosom bear,
And tell her all my pain,
And if a spark of pity’s there,
Oh! fan it to a flame.
As a march it was entered into the c. 1776-1778 music copybook of fifer Thomas Nixon Jr. (1762-1842), of Framingham, Connecticut. Nixon was a thirteen-year-old who accompanied his father to the battles of Lexington and Concord, and who served in the Continental army in engagements in and around New York until 1780, after which he returned home to build a house in Framingham. The copybook appears to have started by another musician, Joseph Long, and to have come into Nixon’s possession. The melody was also penned into the music copybook of German flute player John Hoff, (1776-1818) of Lancaster, Pa., whose manuscript dates to the closing years of the 18th century.