When Bidden to the Wake
X:1 T:When bidden to the wake or fair M:C L:1/8 R:Air C:William Shield (1748-1829) N:from the opera "Rosina", first staged at Covent Garden in Dec., 1782 S:John Rook music manuscript collection (Waverton, Cumbria, 1840, p. 236) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G>A|B2E2 B3A|G2 (F>E) E2 (D>E)|G3A BABd|e2A2A2 (G>A)| B2d2 (cB)(AG)|AB !fermata!g3f|e3d BAB^d|e2 (E>F) E2 (B>c)| d3e (fe)(cB)|g2 d2 d2 (gf)|e3f gfga|b2 (e>f) e2 d>c| B2g2 dBAG|A2B2 !fermata!g3f|(eg)(fe) BAB^d|e2 E>F E2||
WHEN BIDDEN TO THE WAKE OR FAIR. AKA and see "My Nanny O." English, Air (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. This song air, a reworking of Allan Ramsay's "My Nanny O" by English violinist and composer William Shield (1748-1829), appeared in his two-act comic opera Rosina (1782) and proved very popular. The words begin:
- When biddlen to the wake or fair,
The joy of each free-hearted swain,
'Till Phoebe promis'd to be there,
I loiter'd, last of all the train.
If chance some fairing caught her eye,
The ribbon gay or silken glove,
With eaher haste I run to buy,
For what is gold compar'd to love?
The air was entered into numerous musicians' manuscript collections on both sides of the Atlantic. At the end of the twentieth century it was arranged by fiddler Mark O'Connor and played with cellist Yo-Yo-Ma for the soundtrack of the television series Liberty (1997).