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Highland Mary

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Source: R. Kenworthy Schofield, (1934) JEFDSS Vol 1 (3) p150 "Morris Dances from Bledington"
Place Collected: Bould
Date collected: 1923

Charles Benfield was the main informant for the Bledington tunes, most of which were noted by Cecil Sharp at Benfield’s house at Bould (Oxon), a hamlet about a mile from Bledington (Glos).
In 1923 R. Kenworthy-Schofield visited Bledington with the Travelling Morrice and noted more tunes from Charles Benfield. They were published in JEFDSS Vol 1, no. 3 p 147-151, Dec 1934.
CJ Sharp wrote, 2 September 1909
“Ch. Benfield was fiddler to the Bledington Morris till it lapsed about 15-20 years ago. He afterwards taught some younger men but could not induce them to continue. He is an agricultural labourer and a keen morris dancer. His fiddle was bridge-less and bow-less so he half hummed and half whistled this & following 2 tunes.”

“Highland” Mary Campbell (1763-86) was one of Robert Burns’ loves, who inspired some of his poetry, particularly a song, ‘The Highland Lassie, O’. It seems they exchanged vows of marriage, upon which she returned to the West Highlands to arrange matters among her friends for their projected change of life. She returned to Greenock, “where she had scarce landed when she was seized with a malignant fever, which hurried my dear girl to the grave in a few days”.


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