Three Jolly Sheepskins (2)

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X:1 T:Three Jolly Sheepskins [2] M:C| L:1/8 R:Sword Dance Tune N:This was the tune used by Cecil Sharp for the 3rd Figure N:of the sword dance from Sleights, England. B:Cecil Sharp – Sword Dances of Northern England Book II (1912, p. 5). Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A c3B A2c2|d2 dc B4|c3B A2c2|B2G2 EGAB| c3B A2c2|d2 dc B4|c4 B3G|A2 A2 A4|| e2-a2 e2-a2|g2-f2 g2-f2|e2-a2 e2-a2|.g2.a2 [d4b4]| e2-a2 e2-a2|g2-f2 g2-f2|[A4e4] [e3c'3][db]|[c2a2][d2b2][c4a4]|| c3BA2c2|d2 dc B4|c3B A2c2|B2G2 EGAB| c3BA2c2|d2 dc B4|c4 B3G|A2A2 [C4A4]|| e2-a2 e2-a2|g2-f2 g2-f2|e2-a2 e2-a2|.g2.a2 [d4b4]| e2-a2 e2-a2|g2-f2 g2-f2|[A4e4] [e3c'3’[db]|[c2a2][d2b2][c4a4]||



THREE JOLLY SHEEPSKINS [2]. English, Sword Dance Tune (2/2 time). England, north Yorkshire. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The tune accompanies the third figure in the sword dance collected by Cecil Sharp from the village of Sleights, north Yorkshire, England, in the valley of the Esk. As with "Three Jolly Sheepskins (1)", the tune printed with the dance by Cecil Sharp in his Sword Dances of Northern England Book II (1912) was not the one the Sleights musicians played that day, by rather another tune collected from a “gipsy fiddler in Herefordshire.” As in "Three Jolly Sheepskins (2)", Sharp’s “gipsy fiddler” was named John Locke, of Leominster, Hereford, and Sharp had made wax cylinder recordings of his playing in 1909. In his small volume Sharp justified this tinkering with 'tradition' in the preface: “the tunes played on that occasion were neither particularly interesting nor suitable, and were not, moreover, in any way traditionally associated with the dance.” He does not even mention the names of the tunes played by the Sleights musicians in 1910 that he rejected.

The first strain is cognate with that of the Irish "Buddy Furey's Polka," although the second strains differ. This strain is a 'floater' and is signature of the "Well May the Keel Row" tune family.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Karpeles & Schofield (A Selection of 100 English Folk Dance Airs), 1951; p. 28. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 73. Cecil Sharp (The Sword Dances of Northern England, Book II), 1912; p. 5.






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