Gallant Hussar (The)

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GALLANT HUSSAR, THE. AKA and see "Young Jane." English, Morris Dance Tune (6/8 time); Irish, "Moderately Slow" Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB, ABB, ACC, ACC, A (Bacon, Mallinson): One part (Joyce). From the villages of Bledington and Longborough, Gloucestershire, in England's Cotswolds (Mallinson). "I have a song composed to this air about 'Young Jane and her Gallant Hussar'" (Joyce, 1909). In fact, the tune played for morris dances strongly resembles the air. Hussars were a dashing branch of most European armies during the Napoleonic era, and captured the public imagination with their reputation for gallantry and with their exquisitely styled uniforms. The word hussar is from 15th century Hungary and means 'one in twenty', relating to the conscripting of one man in twenty from every village. Thomas Hardy, the Devonshire novelist, wrote a short story called "The Mellancholy Hussar of the German Legion," which appears in his collection Wessex Tales (1889). "Young Jane" is a waltz-time setting of the air.

Source for notated version: "...Mr. Patrick O'Leary of Graignamanagh, Co. Kilkenny, a good amateur musician with a great knowledge of the popular airs of that part of Ireland. Most of (the airs sent to Joyce) he wrote down from his own memory" (Joyce).

Printed sources: Bacon (A Handbook of Morris Dances), 1974; pp. 81, 252. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 290, p. 137. Mallinson (Mally's Cotswold Morris Book, vol. 1), 1988; No. 26, p. 19.

Recorded sources: EMI/Harvest 7243 8 29861 2 6, Ashley Hutchings et al – "Son of Morris On" (1976).




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