Annotation:When We Went Bobbing Around

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WHEN WE WENT BOBBING AROUND. American, Air and Polka (2/4 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The song "Bobbing Around" was published by Oliver Ditson & Son (Boston) in an 1859 collection called Home Melodist: A Collection of Songs and Ballads., but was first published in 1855. It is the work of the New York variety performer William Florence, who composed the music and words, and was sung on stage by his wife, Malvina née Pray (1831-1906), who was also a dancer. They performed it in America and on tour in Great Britain, where it was more successful than in their home country; it tells of a Yankee woman who jilts her fiancé, leaving him at the altar.

In August last, on one fine day,
A bobbing around, around, around,
When Josh and I went to make hay,
We went a bobbing around.

Says Josh to me, let's take a walk,
A bobbing around, around, around,
Then we can have a private talk,
As we go bobbing around.

We walked along to the mountain ridge,
A bobbing around, around, around,
Till we got near Squire Slipshod's bridge,
As we went bobbing around.

Then Josh and I went on a spree,
A bobbing around, around, around,
And I kissed Josh and Josh kissed me,
As we went bobbing around

Then Josh's pluck no longer tarri'd,
A bobbing around, around, around,
Says he, dear Patience, let's get marri'd,
Then we'll go bobbing around.

Now I knew ho lov'd another gal,
A bobbing around, around, around, rSal,
They call'd her long legg'd, crook'd shin'd, curly-toothed
When we went bobbing around.

So after we got into church,
A bobbing around, around, around,
I cut and left Josh in the lurch,
Then he went bobbing around.

Now all you chaps what's got a gal,
A bobbing around, around, around,
Do think of long legg'd, crook'd shin, curly-toothed Sal
When you go bobbing around.

"Bobbing Around" was the inspiration in Britain for a number of adaptations, including as a polka and a fantasia, and inspired similar compositions (such as "Bobbing around the West End Park"). The song air was adapted by Cotswold morris teams for dances (the second strain of "When We Went Bobbing Around" corresponds to the first strain of the morris tunes "Bobbing Around (1)" and "Bobbing Around (2)").

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Miller & Perron (101 Polkas), 1978; No. 60

Recorded sources: -

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