Tom and Mary

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X:19 T:Tom and Mary M:6/8 L:1/8 B:Thompson’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1 (London, 1757) Z:Transcribed and edited by Fynn Titford-Mock, 2007 Z:abc’s:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G2A B2c|dcB A2B|c2d e>dc|B>cd {e}d2B| cde cBA|Bcd BAG|ABc BcA|BG2 G2:| |:d|g>ab g2d|ef/g/e d2B|cde gdc|TB3 A2D| G2B d2B|e/f/ge d2G|E2c BcA|BG2 G2:||



TOM AND MARY. AKA - "Cross Purposes." English, Jig (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody under the "Tom and Mary" title first appears in print (as do many in Charles and Samuel Thompson’s 1757 country dance collection) in John Johnson’s Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 6 (London, 1751, p. 38). The Thompson's also published it in their annual collection of twenty four country dances in 1751, which was anthologized in their Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances (1757).

John Walsh published the tune with the title "Cross Purposes" and the alternate title "Tom and Mary" in his Compleat Country Dancing Master, volume the Sixth (London, 1754, p. 68). This title reveals the melody's use as the vehicle for a piece sung at Ranelagh Gardens; the song collection 'Clio and Euterpe (London, 1758, vol. 1, p. 91) says it was "sung by Mr. Beard." A song sheet dated Jan. 1, 1748, says the song was not only sung, but composed by Mr. Beard, "The words imitated from Moschus." John Beard (1715-1791) was a tenor singer at Covent Garden and Drury Lane theaters, and sung in all the Handel oratorios. The words begin:

Tom loves Mary passing well,
And Mary she loves Harry,
But Harry sighs for bonny Bell,
And finds his love miscarry;
For bonny Bell for Thomas burns,
Whilst Mary slights his passion,
So strangely freakish are the terms
Of Cupid's fascination.

"Cross Purposes" was included in several songsters and song collections of the 2nd half of the 18th century, as well as broadside issues.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Moffat (The Minstrelsy of England), 1901; p. 18. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), 1757; No. 19.






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