Woodlands

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X:1 T:Woodlands T:How sweet in the woodlands M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air S:William Litten’s c. 1800-1802 music copybook Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C G2|c2 ed ed|c2c2d2|e2 gf gf|e4 e/f/|g2 ag ag| fg az f2|e2 gf gf|{e}d4:||e2|d2 de de|f2f2 gf| {f}e2 eg ag|g4 e2|dB/d/ c2f2|ed/e/ d2 c'g| f2e2 g/f/e/d/|{d}c4g2|a2f2 zf|e2 de fg|c'/a/g/f/ e2d2|c4||



WOODLANDS. AKA - "How sweet in the woodlands." English, Air (3/4 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "How sweet the woodlands" was a popular latter -18th century song printed with and without music in songsters, song-sheets and vocal collections such as Goldfinch, or New Modern Songster (1785), The Universal Songster (1828) and similar issuings. It was the work of Dr. Henry Harrington (1727-1816), a man of great abilities; a physician, classicist, amateur musician and vocal composer who often partnered with the Rev. William Leaves of Wrington, Somersetshire (composer of the melody "Auld Robin Gray"), and Edmund Broderip, organist of Wells cathedral, to write part songs. "How sweet the woodlands" was originally set as a duet. The words go:

How sweet is the woodland with fleet hound and horn,
To waken shrill echo and taste the fresh morn;
But hard is the chance my fond heart must pursue,
For Daphne, fair Daphne, is lost to my view.

Assist me, chaste Diana, the nymph to regain,
More wild than the roebuck, and wing'd with disdain;
In pity o'ertake her who wounds as she flies,
Tho' Daphne's pursu'd, 'tis Myrtilla that dies.

The tune also was entered into a number of musicians' music manuscript and copybook collections on both sides of the Atlantic, including the music copybook of Eleazer Cary (c. 1797-1799) of Mansfield, Connecticut, and the late 18th century music manuscript collection of Henry Livingstone (as "How sweet the Woodlands", p. 204) of Poughkeepsie, New York.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - the music manuscript copybook of ship’s fiddler William Litten, who finally settled in Martha’s Vineyard [Huntington].

Printed sources : - Huntington (William Litten's Tune Book), 1977; p. 43. Riley (Riley's Flute Melodies, vol. 2), 1817; p. 5.

Recorded sources: -



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