Thursday, October 08, 2015

"Kiss My Lady" -- English country dance tune [?] in Black Baronet

Traditional Tune Archive has several notated variants at One, from Northamptonshire in ENgland, has this note: "Source: John Clare,Poet,Helpstone (1793-1864)Notes: A kissing dance with kissing in the first bar would give everyincentive for the tune to linger a little, as here. CGP.No TS in MS."

John Clare was a village fiddler in England, compiled 2 ms. books of fiddle tunes ... John Clare - poet and fiddler, 1793-1864

John Clare left behind him a fascinating insight into what it was like to be a village fiddler, in his poems, his writings and his tune collections. The first book contains 74 different tunes, some in different versions, while the second book is much more extensive.

Following our publication of both books of his fiddle tune collection, I shall gradually add notes on this page on some of the tunes as they emerge from my investigations. One aspect that has particularly grabbed me is the way very similar, or indeed identical, versions of his tunes appear in other manuscript tune books of the time - same key, same slurs, even same note groupings, and I have tried to locate the common ancestor - presumably a printed source. What is remarkable is the range of music represented in his collection: songs his parents sang, popular songs from operas, tunes he learnt from the various Gypsy families that camped near Helpstone, as well as country dances, jigs, reels, folk songs of the time as well as Scottish and Irish tunes.

Camel Music: Tony Urbainczyk was Head of Strings and Assistant Director of Music at Sherborne Girls from 2003 and retired (early!) from this post in August 2013, to branch out into more playing, private teaching and publishing. Rose Urbainczyk studied at Homerton College, Cambridge, and later morphed into a Technology teacher. She gained her MEd with the OU, made Tony a viola and is his No.1 fan.

John Clare bio at

John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption.[1] His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century, and he is now often considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets.[2] His biographer Jonathan Bate states that Clare was "the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self".[3]

No comments: