Annotation:Swalwell Lasses

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X: 1 T:Swalwell Lasses C:anon. O:England S:NPTB3 R:Hornpipe Z:C.G.P F: %Posted at abcusers Jan 2nd 2001 by Johnny Adams. M:4/4 L:1/8 F: K:G D|G2G>B A>GA>B|G2e2e>dB>d|d>cA>c c>BA>G|E>AA>G G>FE>D| G2G>B A>GA>B|G2e2e>dB>d|d>cA>d c>BA>G|E>GF>AG3:| |:D|D>GG>AB2AG|E>AA>B c>BA>G|B>de>g B>de>g|B>dd>B c>BA>G| D>GG>AB2A>G|E>AA>B c>BA>G|B>de>g B>de>g|E>GF>AG3:|

SWALWELL LASSES. English, Hornpipe (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. England, Northumberland. The tune can be found in a notebook of the 19th century Northumbrian collector John Stokoe. Swalwell is a village in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, northeast England. 'Swalwell lasses' are mentioned in a comic song called "Visit to Swalwell" by a local poet, Thomas Marshall, about a procession from Newcastle headed by a band of musicians[1]. It was directed to be sung to the tune of "Betsy Baker":

The Swalwell lasses ran to meet
The music they heard coming;
Young bairns lapt fra their bed asleep,
And to the door cam runnin:
Aud men and wives, tee, hobbled out,--
Ower the bed stock monny fell;
They put out their heads where awd hats stuck,
At the procession gan to Swalwell.

The High Level Ranters note that the tune, at a relaxed tempo, is a good accompaniment for a Canadian Barn Dance.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Northumbrian Pipers’ Society Third Tune Book,1991.

Recorded sources : - Front Hall FHR‑08, Alistair Anderson ‑ "Traditional Tunes" (1976). Topic Records 12TS388,High Level Ranters - "Four in a Bar" (1979).

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  1. The song is contained in Thomas Marshall, A Collection of Original Local Songs, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1829, p. 17.