BOW BELLS. English, Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. The melody was originally published by Charles and Samuel Thompson in their Compleat Collection, vol. 3 (London, 1773). As with numerous of the Thompson's 1773 collection tunes, it was entered into the 1788 music copybook of fiddlers John and William Pitt Turner (Norwich, Conn.). Playford published a different tune by this title in Musick's Hand-Maid (London, 1678). The Bow Bells are the steeple bells of the church of St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, London, centrally located in the city. There is record of them being rung at 9 PM in the evening as far back as 1469. To be "born within the sound of Bow Bells" was the traditional term denoting a Cockney, and to be in earshot of the Bow Bells was to be within the city boundary. Supposedly Dick Wittington setting out as an escapee from his apprenticeship, returned to his master when he heard the Bow bells, which seemed to be saying to him "Turn again, Wittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London" [Brewer].
Printed source: Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3), 1773; No. 141.
X:1 T:Bow Bells M:6/8 L:1/8 B:Thompson's Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3 (London, 1773) Z:Transcribed and edited by Fynnian Titford-Mock, 2007 Z:abc's:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D dfa gec|dAG FED|dfa gec|dAF D3::ged cBA|dAG FED| ged cBA|Bdc d3::dcB AGF|BAG FED|dcB AGF|GFE D3:||
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