Under and Over

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UNDER AND OVER. AKA and see “Man Had Three Sons (A),” “Jacob Hall's Jig (1).” English, Country Dance Air (6/4 time). G Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The tune appears in John Playford’s Dancing Master, 2nd edition (1652), and, in D Major, in Pills to Purge Melancholy (under the title “Joan’s ale is new”). It was retained in the Dancing Master through the end of the long-running series (which ended with the 18th edition of 1728, then published in London by John Young). It also appears in John Walsh's The Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, editions of 1718 & 1747).

In many of the manuscripts containing songs written to the air it is described as a “Northern tune,” which Chappell states means it is north English in origin, not Scottish. As “Joan’s Ale is New” the tune appears (set in D Major) in D’Urfey’s Pills to Purge Melancholy. The “Under and Over” song begins:

Under and over, over and under,
Or a pretty new jest and yet no wonder;
Or a maiden mistaken, as many now be,
View well this glass, and you may plainly see.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 112, p. 38. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), vol. 1, 1859; pp. 304-305.

Recorded sources:




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