Annotation:White Joak (The)

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X:12 T:White Joak A:England;London M:6/8 L:1/8 Q:3/8=100 S:J.Walsh,Third Book of the most celebrated jiggs,etc 1731 Z:Pete Stewart, 2004 <> with vmp revisions K:D d2d fed|dcB A2G/F/|B2B Bcd|A2F DEF|G3BAG|FGED3|| A2A ABc|defe3|A2A ABc|def e2d/c/|B2d A2d| G2d F>GA|B2B Bcd|A2F DEF|G3BAG|FGED3|]

WHITE JOAK/JOKE, THE. AKA – “White Jack," "White Lime.” AKA and see "Old Marlborough." English, Jig (6/8 time). England, Northumberland. D Major (Kirkpatrick, Walsh): G Major (Bush). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. There were several tunes named in association with the popular “Black Joke (1) (The),” with different colours specified in the title: white, brown, green, etc. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of the tune in print in Robert Ross's 1780 Scottish collection (p. 38), however,“The White Joak” appeared much earlier in London publisher John Walsh’s Third Book of Lancashire Jiggs, Hornpipes, Joaks, etc. (c. 1731), as well as in Walsh’s Dancing Master (1731), Edinburgh fiddler and writing master David Young's MacFarlane Manuscript (c. 1740, p. 277), and in several ballad operas, such as the anonymous Robin Hood (1730), acted in Bartholomew Fair in August, 1730[1]. Kate Van Winkler Keller says the tune dates from the 1720’s and was used throughout the 18th century as a vehicle for songs and dances. Samuel Bayard (in his article “A Miscellany of Tune Notes,” Studies in Folklore, p. 170) finds a version of the tune printed under the title “White Lime” in Nicholas Bennett’s Welsh publication Alawon fy Ngwlad (1896, I, p. 45). The country dance tune also appears in the manuscript collection of Captain George Bush (1753?-1797), an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, believed to have been copied from a now-lost fife tutor printed in Philadelphia in 1776 by Hall and Sellers. Similarly, it was entered into the c. 1770 music manuscipt collection begun by William Clark of Lincoln (although there are entries in other hands in the manuscript, and it may have been entered at a later date). The parts are asymmetrical many versions, including that in William Vickers’ Northumbrian version of 1770, the first having eight bars while the second has twelve. Vickers also has repeated ‘tag’ measures at the end of each part.

The morris dancers at Fieldtown used a variant of the tune for dancing but called it "Old Marlborough."

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - the Bush MS [Keller]; William Vickers' 1770 music manuscript collection (Northumberland) [Seattle]; John Walsh [Offord].

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 36, p. 13. Keller (Fiddle Tunes from the American Revolution), 1992; p. 16. Kirkpatrick (John Kirkpatrick's English Choice), 2003; p. 9. Offord (John of the Greeny Cheshire Way), 1985; No. 107. Seattle (Great Northern Tune Book/William Vickers), 1987, Part 2; No. 207. John Walsh (Complete Country Dancing-Master, Volume the Fourth), London, 1740; No. 10. John Watts (The Musical Miscellany), 1731

Recorded sources : - Shy Music SHYCD1, Stewart Hardy – “Tod’s Assembly.”

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  1. "The White Joak" was also heard in Fielding's Tumble-down Dick (1736), where the 'Goddess of the Earth' danced to it.