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Jockie to the Fair (Sherborne)

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Source: C. Sharp ms no. 2460 in Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
Performer: Simpson, George
Place Collected: Didcot
Date collected: 31 March 1910
Collector: Sharp, Cecil

Morris tune from Sherborne, Gloucestershire. Although Sharp visited Simpson at Upton, near Didcot, then in Berkshire, now in Oxfordshire, he had previously lived at Sherborne, and was Sharp’s informant for the Sherborne morris dances.

Jockey to the Fair
The oldest occurrence of this tune in print is reported to be in T. Straight’s 24 Favourite Dances for the Year 1779, under the title “General Action”. Skillern (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1780), 1780 missed first place by just one year. He called it by the name we know.
The Traditional Tune Archive gives a list of printed sources. It was also published in Riley’s second Sett (sic) of Cotillions, New York, 1824. Many morris villages had the tune, usually as a solo dance (“jig” in morris parlance), though in Abingdon and Brackley it is used for a set dance. Search this website for the Gloucestershire versions. For others, see the Morris Ring.
The tune is used in Ireland for traditional “set” dancing, something like clog dancing.

The tune is associated with a song. For a nice version, see Archer Goode. The 14 bars, which occur in the 2nd strain (B music) of many versions of the tune, are also a feature of the song.

In the linked abc file this is tune number X:5

note by Charles Menteith