Twenty-Ninth of May (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Twenty-Ninth Day of May [1], The M:C| L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune B:Elias Howe – Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7 (Boston, 1880-1882, p. 619) B: Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D a2f2g2f2|edcB A2f2|g2B2c3 B/c/|d2A2 F2 E-D:| F2A4(GF)|G2B4B2|cde2 cde2|c2 Bc A2 de| f2 ef d2 ef|g2 fg e2 fg|a2 B2c3 B/c/|d2A2F2 (ED)||

TWENTY-NINTH OF MAY [1], THE. AKA - "29th of May." AKA and see "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "May Hill," "Jovial Crew (The)," "Jovial Beggars (The)," "Restoration of King Charles." English, Morris and Country Dance Tune (2/2 or 4/4 time). D Major (Barnes, Karpeles, Kidson, Raven, Sharp): G Major (Bacon, Callaghan, Mallinson). Standard tuning. AB (Sharp): AAB (Barnes, Karpeles, Kidson, Raven): AABA (Bacon): AABB, x4 (Callaghan, Mallinson). The air was published in Playford's Dancing Master of 1686 and all later editions, sometimes even appearing twice, with different names (such as "The Jovial Beggars"). It also appears in Playford’s Apollo’s Banquet. The title date refers to the day Charles II landed in England in the year 1660 to be returned to the crown. An act of Parliament later that same year decreed the date should be a day of thanksgiving, to “be celebrated in every church and chapel in England and the dominions thereof.” It was observed until 1859. The date, probably by design, happened to be the king’s birthday as well as his return day. Nigel Gatherer communicates that the day is also known as "oak-apple day" after Charles’s celebrated hiding in an oak tree at Boscobel. Previous to his triumphal return to power, Charles had been forced to flee the country. In September, 1651, Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads defeated the loyalist Scottish army at Worcester and King Charles was obliged to quickly seek safety in other parts of the kingdom. Travelling up the west of England toward Scotland he was advised there was a haven for a rest at Boscobel. There he admitted by sympathetic Catholics who, to further protect him, had him don peasant's attire. Commonwealth troopers were soon on the scent however, and scoured the area for fugitives from the battle, obliging Charles to hide in a bushy oak tree for the whole day. Soon after the incident was idealized by the population, and the thought of an oak hiding the rightful king was transformed into an archetype (or perhaps associated with a more ancient archetype) so that the Royal Oak became a treasured symbol. Loyalists sported sprays of oak in their hats, and eventually 'Oak Apple-day' became a term for restoration day. Gatherer says that to this day it is one of the most popular names for pubs in England. The morris dance version was collected from the village of Headington, Oxfordshire, in England's Cotswolds. The Anglican church has long had a hymn set to the tune. There is a “29thof May” in the music manuscript of John Winder (1789, Wyresdale, Lancashire), although the tune is that of “When the King Enjoys His Own Again.”

"Twenty Ninth of May" is a morris tune title at Brackley and the name of a dance at Headington but in the latter village the tune was a version of "Balance the Straw (1)."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Bacon (The Morris Ring), 1974; p. 189. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 52. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times, vol. 2), 1859; p. 52. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 619. Karpeles & Schofield (A Selection of 100 English Folk Dance Airs), 1951; p. 15. Kidson (Old English Country Dances), 1890; p. 2. Mallinson (Mally’s Cotswold Morris Book), 1988; No. 4, p. 9. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 25. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 27.

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