Young Collins (1)

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Charles Benfield

YOUNG COLLINS [1]. English, Morris Dance Tune (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB, x4. Collected from the villages of Bledington and Oddington, Gloucestershire, in England's Cotswolds.

The portrait (by artist A van Anrooy) depicts Charles Benfield (1841–1929), the fiddler for the Bledington morris men in the second half of the 19th century. Benfield started out by playing the pipe and tabor, instruments he had ‘inherited’ from the renowned Sherbourne and Northleach musician Jim ‘the laddie’ Simpson, who had succumbed to an overdose of alcohol in 1856. The fiddler became a key figure in the Bledington morris tradition, eventually leading the “junior side” of dancers born in the 1860’s, men who survived to pass on their tradition to larger audiences when collectors visited in the 1930’s.

Old Charlie Benfield

Source for notated version: Charles Benfield [Bacon].

Printed sources: Bacon (A Handbook of Morris Dances), 1974; pp. 77, 256, 271. Mallinson (Mally’s Cotswold Morris Book), 1988; No. 22, p. 16. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 79.

Recorded sources: Carthage CGLP 4406, Hutchings et al – "Morris On" (1972/1983).

See also listing at:
Hear the tune played on melodeon on [1]

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