John Anderson My Jo reel

There is 1 recording of this tune.

John Anderson My Jo has been added to 7 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: John Anderson My Jo
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
AG |E2 A2 A2 B2 |c4 c2 dc |B3 A G2 ^F2 |G6 AG |
E2 A2 A2 B2 |c4 c2 d2 |e3 d c2 d2 |e6 g3/2f/ |
e3 d c2 d2 |e3 f g2 fe |d3 c B2 c2 |d6 cd |
e2 c2 d2 cB |c2 BA B2 AG |E2 A2 A2 G2 |A6 |

Five comments

The tune is notated alla breve in the collection of poems by Robert Burns I own ("Liebe und Freiheit, Lieder und Gedichte, zweisprachig", Heidelberg 1988).

John Anderson, My Jo

I first came across this tune in the 1970s in "Fifty Old Airs and Dances from Scotland and Ireland" arranged for Descant Recorder by Constance M Mullins FSA Scot. I’ve always played it as a slow air, really slow, as a prelude to a faster tune in the same key such as the hornpipe "First of May" [english version]

John Anderson My Jo

Versions of the tune are found in a few areas. In the Skene manuscript (c1630-1640) it appears under the same name, while in Playford’s Dancing Master it has the name "Paul’s Steeple". Elsewhere in England it is known as "The Duke of Norfolk".

The tune is said to have been a chant in the "holy kirk" up until around the time of the Reformation, and, according to "Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry", a parody of it was found "printit" in the end of a "a psalme buik" by Thomas Bassendyne, printer in Edinburgh, in the form of "ane baudy sang, called Welcome Fortunes" (c 1560):

JOHN Anderson my jo, cum in as ze gae by,
And ze sall get a sheips heid weel baken in a pye;
Weel baken in a pye, and the haggis in a pat;
John Anderson my jo, cum in, and ze’s get that.

"And how doe ze, Cummer? and hove hae ze threven?
And how mony bairns hae ze?" "Cummer, I hae seven,"
"Are they to zour awin gude man?" "Na, Cummer, na;
For five of tham were gotten, quhan he was awa’."

John Anderson is said to have been a town piper of Kelso.

John Anderson, My Jo

You’re full of fascinating information. Thanks, Weejie!