The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31121   Message #1279767
Posted By: AlanN
24-Sep-04 - 06:40 AM
Thread Name: Help: Greensleeves the real composer?
Subject: RE: Help: Greensleeves the real composer?
I am new to Mudcat. For ten years I have been researching the origins of the Wyresdale Greensleeves Dance that was collected by Cecil Sharp in North Lancashire in 1910. The tune was played as a 6/8 jig. The dance and the tune fit together like a hand in a glove. The earliest "local" reference is in the John Winder MS 1789 where it titles the tune "Greenslee'ves....Kick My A..E". I am firmly convinced that the dance version of the tune came first and when it migrated south in, perhaps, the 16th century it was developed into the slower versions. There is a tradition in Wyresdale that a local musician wrote the tune. George Emmerson's book Rantin Pipe and Tremblin String supporte this possibility. My research suggests that the dance is over 1200 years old (at least). I liked something I found in a related thread concerning the name greensleeves. It derives from Old English GRAENA SLAVIIS which means INSANE BASTARDS. If you see the dance performed you will understand.