Turbit and Venison

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X:1 T:Turbit and Venison 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:D D2A D2c|dcB AGF|G2 B E2B|G2B E2B| F2A D2c|dcB AGF|GAB A,DC|(D3 D3):| |:A2a A2g|A2f ecA|(f/g/a)f ecA|(f/g/a)f ecA| (B/c/d)B AFD|(B/c/d)B A2g|fed edc|d3 D3:||



TURBIT AND VENISON. AKA and see “Spotted Borders.” English, Jig (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. 'Turbit' (turbot) is a breed of fancy pigeon, while venison is deer meat; turbit and venison would be a hunting lodge meal. At the state dinner in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015, the banquet consisted of the very English turbot and venison, cabbage and celery roots. A late 18th century comic piece imagined the newly deceased could appeal their fate before a tribunal and perhaps be 'reinstated':

A jolly personage was next examined [i.e. by the court] and he pretended that he was accidentally choaked by a turtle-fin; though the newspapers had falsely attributed his death to an apoplectick fit. It being proved upon him that he had dined the day before, and eat heartily upon turbot and venison, and that he had drank plentifully of old hock and claret, the court decreed that he died of a surfeit, and refused to indulge him in any more good living.[1]


The tune was entered into the music manuscript of Joseph Kershaw as "Spotted Borders.

The melody under the "Turbit and Venison" title is unique to London publishers Charles and Samuel Thompson’s 1757 country dance collection.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), 1757; No. 141.






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  1. The comick magazine; or, Compleat library: of mirth, humour, wit, gaiety, and entertainment. By the greatest wits of all ages & nations. Enriched with Hogarth's celebrated ... prints.