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Farmyard Cacophonies amplified.

Colin Hume wrote to FMJ:

'... you may be interested to know that the first tune in Vic Gammon's "Farmyard Cacophonies" was published in The Dancing Master by John Young in 1713 as "In the Fields in Frost and Snow"--identical except that Youngs version is in D minor rather than A minor. You can see it online at (

'Possibly it's "Snow" rather than "Snows" because it no longer has to rhyme with "Cows". The tune and its dance notation were republished by Bernard Bentley in the first book of the Fallibroome collection (1962), now republished as a single volume by EFDSS.'

I was not aware of this valuable resource when I wrote the article and Colin Hume has provided us with additional information indicating the popularity of the tune (and therefore probably of the song) in the first half of the eighteenth century. The website is entitled 'The Dancing Master, 1651-1728: An Illustrated Compendium, by Robert M. Keller, and the home page is ( From this page the site can be browsed and searched. The index shows that the tune in question appears in no less than four editions of Play ford (1710, 1714, 1718, 1728). Recent work by Paul Dennant has revealed that the tune was also included in the rare sixth volume of Walsh's The Compleat Country Dancing-Master (c. 1756), as well as in two earlier volumes issued by Walsh in 1710 and 1719 (personal communication). The work of Chappell, Dean-Smith, and Simpson has long established the historical relationship between song and dance tunes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but I am very pleased that these instances have been drawn to our attention.

An outline of Robert M. Keller's work can be found at ( He is one of the people responsible for the excellent Early American Music and its European Sources, 1589-1839, at (, a resource I have found extremely useful in the past.

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Title Annotation:Notes
Author:Gammon, Vic
Publication:Folk Music Journal
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 20, 2011
Previous Article:'My book of Manx Ballads at last published': A. W. Moore's Manx Ballads and Music (1896).
Next Article:The Bishopthorpe Sword Dancers.

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