Watton Town's End

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WATTON TOWN'S END. AKA – “Watton Town End.” AKA and see "(Oh) London is a Fine Town." “Oh London is a Fine Town.” English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Watton is a town in Norfolk, England, although the title also has (perhaps mistaken) associations with London's Wattling Street. As a ballad, "Watton Town's End" dates to the early 17th century. and the tune was employed for several songs and paridies, including "London is a brave town," "The Gowling," "See the Golding/Gilding," and others. The melody and dance instructions appear in editions of John Playford’s Dancing Master (third edition) from 1665 on [1], in Walsh’s Dancing Master (1731) and Thomas D’Urfy’s Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719, vol. II, 150, vol. IV, 40). Bayard (in his article “A Miscellany of Tune Notes” in Studies in Folklore) begs comparison with “Loving Hannah” in Josephine McGill’s Folk Songs of the Kentucky Mountains (N.Y., 1917), pp. 88-90.

Words to the bawdy song begin:

As I cam up to Arpendeen
And straight to Wattontown
And there I met a pretty wench
That looked like lay me Down.

Cho:
At Watten Towns end,
At Watten Towns end,
At every door there stands a whore,
At Watten Towns end.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: John Walsh (Complete Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Fourth), London, 1740; No. 122.

Recorded sources:




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