Dance to Your Daddy

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DANCE TO YOUR DADDIE. AKA and see "Hudson Barn (1)." Scottish, English; Air, Triple Hornpipe (3/2 or 3/4 time). England, Northumberland. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). The tune appears in Borders fiddler-composer John Pringle's c. 1805 collection with the note: "This is a very old Tune, Sung on the Border to Children when Nursing." Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book (1844) describes it as a "Scottish cradle song." The ditty is to set to a triple time metre, the old hornpipe form.

Dance tae y'r daddie, My bonnie laddie,
Dance tae y'r daddie, My bonnie lamb!

And ye'll get a fishie, In a wee wee dishie,
And ye'll get a fishie, When the boat comes hame.

A Tyneside version begins:

Come here, maw little Jacky,
Now aw’ve smoked mi baccy,
Let’s have a bit o’ cracky
Till the boat comes in.

Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a fishy when the boat comes in.

The verses (or their variants) are familiar to many as a nursery rhyme. A minor key version was collected in Berkshire by Cecil Sharp. The alternate title "Hudson Barn" comes from a modern country dance by Jacqueline Schwab and Charles Hammond, written in 1974 for Pam Kelly and Jonathan Bosworth on their wedding.

See also the cognate Shetland 4/4 tune "Mirrie Boys o' Greenland (Da)."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, vol. 1), 1844; p. 21. Pringle (A Second Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jiggs &c.), c. 1805.

Recorded sources: Fellside FECD 167, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan – "Between the Dark and Light" (2001).




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