The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30324   Message #389843
Posted By: GUEST,Bruce O.
04-Feb-01 - 03:14 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Billy in the Lowland / ... Low Ground
Subject: RE: Billy in the Lowland
Here's a bit more on the early history of the tune.

You will note that the tune derives from "The Braes of Aucthtertyre" itself modified from "O, dear Minninie". According to Wm. Stenhouse in 'Illustrations to SMM' "How can I keep my maidenhead" was the modification by James Crockat, c 1723, of "O dear Minnie". Jack Campin has recently rediscovered the long lost Crockat MS, and we may have some substantiation soon. Another early name for the tune was "Lennox Love to Blantyre". The earliest known copies, printed and manuscipt, of the tune under the "Lennox love" title are given as ABCs in file S2.HTM on my website. It appeared under the "How can I keep my maidenhead" title in book 2 of Walsh's 'Caledonian Country Dances', c 1736, and from there, copied into a number of manuscripts. (The song from which the tune took this title is in Scarce Songs 2 on my website). For other copies of "Lennox love" and "How can I keep" see file CNTYDAN2.HTM on my website.

PS: You can click onto Andrew Kuntz's 'Fiddler's Companion Tune Index' from a link on my home page.