Bristol Wells jig

Bristol Wells has been added to 7 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Bristol Wells
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:g2 b afd|e/f/ge dBG|c2 e dBG|FAA A3|
g2 b afd|e/f/ge dBG|c/d/ec B/c/dB|DGF G3:|
|:dBG Bdg|dBG Bdg|bgd bgd|eAA A3|
dBG Bdg|dBG Bdg|dgd B/c/dB|DGF G3:|
# Added by jww4 .

Twelve comments

Bristol Wells

A country dance from the supplement to the 1755 volume of the Universal Magazine.

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Ever played by an Irish musician ?

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I don’t know if it was ever played by an Irish musician, however an Irish musician should be able to do a lot with a tune like this, should they feel inclined.


Q1. is this an English tune? It is somewhat remininicent of a Cotswold Morris dance dance tune called "Valentine".

Q2. in which country was the Universal Magazine published?

Q3. Do you have any other tunes from this source that you will be posting?

X: 2
T: Bristol Wells
N: πŸ˜›
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Gmaj
|: d/e/f |\
g2 b afd | e2 g dBG | c2 e dBG | FA^G AB/c/d |
g2 b afd | ecg dBG | c>de dBG | dgf g :|
|: A/B/c |\
dBG d2 g | dBG Bdg | bgd bgd | eA^G AA/B/c |
dBG d2 g | dBG Bdg | dgd B/c/dB | DGF G3 :|

~ | Dgf G :|

Oops! ~ again… 😏 I must try to make up for lost sleep. πŸ˜‰

Yes, I would say it’s English. The Universal Magazine was published in London but circulated throughout the British Isles and even the American colonies (it shows up in a Colonial Williamsburg index). I have copied all the dance tunes in the volumes that my library owns and will gradually post the better ones.

The steps, if anyone is interested, are: First man foot it to the second woman and turn; first woman do the same; lead down through the third couple, and cast up one; right and left at top.

The tune was published with "A Song sung by Miss Stevenson."

"I am a young virgin that oft has been told,
I should try to get marry’d before I’m too old:
I took their advice, and got one in my eye,
Who, if i can’t have, I’m afraid I shall die.

Young Thyrsis is witty, well featur’d and tall,
His fellow swains own that he outdoes ‘em all,
When first I beheld him, I cannot tell why,
I thought I was going that moment to die."

Sexy stuff. Makes you realize what dancing was really all about… ; )

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Oops… I didn’t see the verses on the second page. This stuff just gets better and better…

"Last Saturday eve, I remember the day,
I caught him saluting Clarinda, the gay;
That I envy’d each kiss, I will not deny,
And fervently pray’d that my rival might die.

Come Hymen and lend a young virgin your aid,
Who, without your assistance, must die an old maid;
To all my fond wishes make Thyrsis comply,
And, if i don’t have him, I wish I may die."

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Thanks for taking the time… πŸ˜€

Bristol Wells

I wonder if the "wells" in the tune’s name relate to two particular wells in Bristol - viz. Hotwells, alongside the A4 Portway almost under the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and which was a hot spa famous throughout the country in the 18th century; and Jacob’s Well about a mile away near Brandon Hill in the centre of the city. Both wells have long been inaccessible to the public.

Bristol Wells

Does anyone know the author of the four-stanza poem quoted above? The classical literature allusions (Thyrsis, Hymen) would appear to indicate someone with a good classical background, not unusual in writers of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Bristol Wells / The Tea Room

The "A" part of Bristol Wells is almost the same as that of a tune called The Tea Room in William Vickers’ collection (number 272 in "The Great Northern Tunebook").

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