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The Butterfly (Chedworth)

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Alternative title: (Ribbon Dance)

Performer: Lawrence, Caleb
Place Collected: Chedworth
Date collected: 1942

The Butterfly is derived from the popular song I’d be a Butterfly, Live For A Day, words and Music by Thomas Haynes Bayley. It was popular enough to be issued on many ballad sheets, including by Willey in Cheltenham. Bayley, who also composed The Mistletoe Bough, was also a resident of Cheltenham, where he died in 1839.
The tune from Caleb Lawrence is essentially the same tune as Sharp collected from Thomas Swallow at Lower Guiting and William Davies at Winchcombe.

Caleb Lawrence
, a carpenter and hurdle maker, was the youngest of four brothers at Chedworth, all of whom were leading lights in the mummers, village and brass bands, although not the Church Band as they were Primitive Methodists. His tune on the pipe was noted by a local antiquarian (with help from the vicar). She rather worryingly volunteered the information that “I have been in Persia and can recognise the quarter tones”: mercifully, none of them appear to feature in her transcription.

Note by Paul Burgess