Why should I not like my love?

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X:1 T:Why Shouldn’t I Love My Love M:9/8 L:1/8 B:David Young – “A Collection of Scotch Airs with the latest Variations” (AKA - The B:McFarlane Manuscript (c. 1741, 39, p. 75) F:https://rmacd.com/music/macfarlane-manuscript/collection/pdfs/why_shou_dn_t_i_love.pdf N:The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland K:Gdor A|GAG TB2G B>cd|F2F fdf cAF|GAG B2G B2f|dcd fcA G2:| |:B|dBd dBd f3|cAc cAc f2c|dgf dcB cdf|dcd fcA G2:|]

WHY SHOULD I NOT LIKE MY LOVE? English, Scottish; Air (9/8). England, Northumberland. A Minor (Aird): G Dorian (Young). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The tune was entered into the large music manuscript collection of Edinburgh fiddler and writing master David Young, called The MacFarlane Manuscript (c. 1741, No. 39, p. 75), "Written for the use of Walter Mcfarlan of that ilk." The melody is contained in the music copybook [1] of John Buttery (1784-1854), a fifer with British army's 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot (so designated in the army reorganization of 1782), who served from 1797-1814. Later in life Buttery emigrated to Canada, where he died. In his manuscript Buttery identifies the tune as "A Retreat", which in military use represents the musical announcement of the end of the day's activities and a time for rest. The operant condition for a retreat was a specific drum roll, over which a melody--any melody--could be played, and it was the drum roll (not the tune) that was the musical signal for a retreat. The Buttery manuscript, as well as other period military manuscripts, often include a variety tunes that are labelled 'Retreats', which were selections the musician employed for the duty. Buttery's manuscript collection has also been identified as belonging to John Fife [1], with a suggested date of 1780. Fife was a family name, like Buttery, identified with the manuscript. The title (as “Why Should I Not Love My Love”) appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes ("The Northern Minstrel's Budget"), which he published c. 1800. There is a song called "Came you not from Newcastle?" that goes:

Came you not from Newcastle?
Came you not there away?
O met you not my true love
Riding on a bonny bay?
Why should I not love my love?
Why should not my love love me?
Why should I love not my love?
Because my love loves me.

A duple-time air was printed with the song in Sabine Baring Gould's Old English Songs from English Minstrelsie (1895), but that melody is a version of John Playford's "Newcastle (1)," from the English Dancing Master (1651).

T:Came you not from Newcastle?
B:Baring Gould - Old English Songs from English Minstrelsie (1895)
Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
AA c2 F2G2|(F3G) F2 z2|A A c2F2c2|(f2f4) (ed)|
c2A2G2F2|D2d4 c B |c2A2 G3F|F4 z2|
f (de)|e (dc) f2A2|(G2f4) G2|F2 F G A2E2|(D2 d4) e2|
fe (dB) f2A2|(G2A2B3)c|d2A2 G3F|F8||

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Aird (Selections of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. II), 1785; No. 149, p. 55.

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  1. Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, https://www.cdss.org/elibrary/Easmes/Index.htm