Traditional Northumbrian tune. My version is slightly different from the one in the minstrelsy. I learnt this at school, and have a handwritten transcript of yet another different version with notes at the bottom that read "Northumbrian Piping Weekend - 8th, 9th & 10th July 1988, Newcastle". Felton is a small village in Northumberland, and a "lonnen" is a cut or path which is usually overgrown or a disused railway line or whatever - the type that people use for walking their dogs and never clean up the poo after them. Because it is a dialect word, there is no standard spelling, and this tune sometimes gets transcribed/recorded as "Felton Lonnin".
I (and family before me) used the word loaning to describe the quarter mile driveway to the farm I grew up on. It was originally, as Dow describes, a track cut into the surrounding landscape.
I might be completely wrong here, but the origin of the word might stem from land loaned by a landowner to the comunity for the purpose of building a track for horse-drawn carts. I’m just guessing at the spelling, the g isn’t pronounced, as in Scots dialect.
Incidentally The Scottish Borders, Northumberland and Cumberland have always been culturally very similar, the actual border being significant only to law enforcement officers and Rievers (bandit cattle rustlers/swordsmen), who constituted a fair proportion of the population prior to the Union of the Crowns (17th century?).
Loanin is commonly used in Ulster, means a lane and is believed to be Scots in origion.
It is unclear which side of the Scottish border this tune came from, but I would say that it has a stronger footing on the English side nowadays. It appears in early Scottish manuscripts with the title "The Bride Has A Bonny Thing".
I’ve played this with other people as a 2-part jig in sessions after people have asked "do you play it as a jig as opposed to the pipe variations?" The setting I would usually choose to play as posted is an adaptation of the setting that appears in the minstrelsy, and it seems to be gaining popularity, but the pipes variations are still often played as a showpiece for the smallpipes. The pipes settings are probably best transcribed in 6/4. The 2-part setting I was given at school is as follows:
d2|:e4c2 d2cBAG|B4G2 G2B2d2|e4c2 d2cBAG|c4A2 A2B2d2|
e4c2 d2cBAG|B4G2 G2A2B2|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
|:d2efg2 f2e2d2|e2fgG2 G2Bcd2|d2efg2 f2e2d2|fga2A2 A2Bcd2|
d2efg2 f2e2d2|gfefgf gfedcB|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
Many pipers play long settings with varying numbers of parts, but most of them are based on one 7-part setting that appeared in John Peacock’s manuscripts, which date from the beginning of the 19th century. The following is an updated version of that rather extreme setting, with high "A" notes for the modern chanter and a corrected 2nd bar of the 5th part:
d2|:e4c2 dcBAG2|B4G2 G2Bcd2|e4c2 dcBAG2|c4A2 A2Bcd2|
e4c2 dcBAG2|gfefg2 G2A2B2|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
|:d2efg2 f4d2|d2g2G2 G2Bcd2|d2efg2 f4d2|e2a2A2 A2Bcd2|
d2efg2 f4d2|gfefge d2c2B2|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
|:B4G2 G2BcdB|G2BcdB G2g2d2|B4G2 G2BcdB|A2a2A2 A2Bcdc|
B4G2 G2BcdB|G2BcdB dcBcdB|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
|:gfedB2 d2efgf|gfedB2 G2BcdB|gfedB2 d2efgf|gfedB2 A2BcdB|
gfedB2 defgf2|gfefge dcBcdB|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
|:B4G2 dcBcdB|dcBcdB dcBcdB|B4G2 dcBcdB|cBABcA cBABcA|
B4G2 dcBcdB|gfefge dcBcdB|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
|:e4(3cec d4(3BdB|B4G2 G2Bcd2|e4(3cec d4(3BdB|c4A2 A2Bcd2|
e4(3cec d4(3BdB|e4(3cec d4(3BdB|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
|:gfefge dcBcdB|gfefge G2BcdB|gfefge dcBcdB|a2A2A2 A2BcdB|
gfefge dcBcdB|gfefge dcBcdB|c2a2c2 B2g2B2|A2a2A2 A2Bcd2:|
it is a northumbrian tune because felton is not far from where I live (see my profile)
Yes, but that title only appears in English transcriptions (the tune has a song to go with it, which may have been just Northumbrians putting words to a tune that originated from the other side of the border). Early Scottish manuscript transcriptions do not go by the title "Felton Lonnen". That’s just what we know it as now. On the other hand, it may well be from the English side. Whichever it is, it doesn’t really matter because the border is largely a political thing rather than cultural. A lot of the tunes have been played on both sides of the border for centuries. You’re safe just calling it a "Borders tune".
BTW I know where Felton is - I had friends who lived there before they moved to Alnwick 🙂
Hmmm fiddle player from near Felton… I’m bound to know you. Now I’m curious…
I’m only aware of one Scottish ms, David Young’s MacFarlane ms, that this appears in - you imply that there are others -? (There is also at least one different Scottish tune with the Bride title.)
There’s a very good short setting of Felton Lonnen on the FARNE site, from the Nichol ms, a bit different from the one here, as well as some different long variation sets.
Someone must be writing a song about the Felton Were-Rabbit that was lately in the news: maybe even an opera - after all, Andrew Lloyd-Webber wrote one about a phantom, and this thing was real. Maybe tunes from it will percolate down through the years and become traditional.
Matt, the Scottish manuscripts I’m referring to have a very different version of the tune in A. A quick online search brought this up:
T: Bride’s a Bonnie Thing, The
R: Jig or March
S: Gow – 3rd Repository (1806)
Z: AK/Fiddler’s Companion
eAA ecc|fBB Baf|eAA ecc|eAA ecc|
fdd ecc|fBB Baf|eAA ecc|eAA Aaf:|
e2d (f/g/a)f|-g2B Bcd|e2e (f/g/a)f|ece ae=g|
fdf ece|f2(B Bc)d|e2e (f/g/a)f|e2A A2c/d/|
e2e (f/g/a)f|(=g2B) Bcd|e2e (f/g/a)f|ece ae=g|
fdf ece|f2B Bcd|e2d (f/g/a)f|e2A Aaf||
I would say this is a version of Felton Lonnen. If you rearrange the bars of each part so that the last 2 bars of each part come at the beginning, for example, you get this which resembles it even more closely:
eAA ecc|eAA Aaf|eAA ecc|fBB Baf|
eAA ecc|eAA ecc|fdd ecc|fBB Baf:|
e2d (f/g/a)f|e2A Aaf|e2d (f/g/a)f|-g2B Bcd|
e2e (f/g/a)f|ece ae=g|fdf ece|f2(B Bc)d|
e2e (f/g/a)f|e2A A2c/d/|e2e (f/g/a)f|(=g2B) Bcd|
e2e (f/g/a)f|ece ae=g|fdf ece|f2B Bcd||
"the Scottish manuscripts I’m referring to have a very different version of the tune in A"
it’s a different version because it’s a different tune. There are dozens of tunes with the same or similar implied chord structure, the ‘Elsie Marley’ structure, sometimes displaced by two bars. They’re different enough to be different tunes, like the many 12-bar rock and blues songs built on the same chords.
The one in the Macfarlane ms is the only appearance I know in Scotland of the tune we call Felton Lonnen. You cite Gow’s Repository; please don’t speak of published books as manuscripts, it hurts.
The Bride Has A Bonny Thing is called Broon Lock in the Northumbrian source (Vickers) where it appears - there, now you even know what the bonny thing is.