Bath Carnival (1)
BATH CARNIVAL. AKA and see "Keppel's Delight." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody under this title first appears in Thompson's Compleat Collection of 200 Country Dances, vol. 4 (1780), as "Keppel's Delight." The Roman name for Bath was Aquae Sulis, the 'waters of Sulis' (Sulis was a Celtic goddess with affinities to Minerva), referring to the hot springs found there, but when the English conquered the territory they called it simply 'the baths,' later simply Bath (Matthews, 1972). For many years it was part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and its abbey was chosen by Dunstan as the site of the first major coronation in 973 when Edgar was crowned King of the English with his queen Elfrida. Bath regained notoriety as a spa in the 18th century, when much of the town center was rebuilt, and received patronage from George III and his queen, Charlotte, and after, George IV, and it is to this era that the title speaks. The Assembly Rooms at Bath, part of the spa, were built in the 1740's and were in the form of a long, rectangular space to accommodate country dancing. The melody was published in London in 1776 (by Longman, Lukey and Broderip) again as "Keppel's Delight" (probably a reference to Admiral Augustus Keppel) in Bride's Favourite Collection of 200 Country Dances, Cotillons. This title seems to predate the "Bath Carnival" title, which, in any case, has appeared in period publications as "Bath Carnival, to the tune of Keppel's Delight."
Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1989. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 8: 28 Country Dances), 1988; p. 1.
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