BLUE CAP. AKA - "Blue Cap for Me." English, Country Dance Tune (6/4 time). A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody was published by John Playford in the very first edition of The English Dancing Master (1651) although it was quite old and was considered part of the traditional repertoire in Playford's day (Pulver, 1923). The tonality shifts between major and dorian mode; F (Major)/G (Dorian) being the tonic given by Playford.
A copy of a song entitled "Blew Cap for Me" is in Antidote against Melancholy (1661, pg. 29), the refrain of which is 'If ever I have a man, blew cap for me' [Robert Burns, Robert Riddell, Notes on Scottish Song]. 'Blue Cap' refers to a person from Scotland. Anne Gilchrist (in her 1939 article "Some Additional Notes on the Traditional History of Certain Ballad-Tunes in the Dancing Master") quotes Morrison in his Itinerary (1598):
The husbandmen in Scotland, the servants, and almost all the country did wear coarse cloth made at home of grey of sky color and flat blew caps very broad.
A version of the melody is contained in the Skene manuscript, albeit the first part is set in common time.
Printed sources: Barlow (The Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 8, p. 18. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 37. Wright (Wright's Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances), 1740; p. 92.
Recorded source: Harmonia Mundi 907101, The King's Delight - "17c. Ballads for Voice and Violin Band" (1993. Appears as the melody for the song "Blew-Cap For Me").
X: 1 T:B029- Blue Cap S:via BBBM, from 'Dancing Master', 1651 Q:1/4=120 L:1/4 M:6/4 K:Adorian D|GGdggB|A2AE2B|GGdBBe|A3/2 d/2^cd2:|d| BBGAAE|D2Bc2e|ddBdef|gdBA2d| BBGAAE|D2Bc2e|ddBdef|gdBA2|]
X:2 T:Blew Cap M:6/4 L:1/8 R:Country Dance B:Wright's Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances (London, 1740, p. 92) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Bb F2|B2B2f2 b2b2d2|c4B2 G4d2|B2B2f2 d2d2g2|c3f =e2f4:| |:f2|d2d2B2 c2c2G2|F4d2 e4g|f2f2d2 f2g2a2|b2f2d2 c4f4| d2d2B2 c2c2G2|F4d2 e4g2|f2f2d2 f2g2a2|b2f2d2 B4:|]
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Engraver Valerio M. Pelliccioni