T: Washing Day
|:B,|B,3 B,3|C3 C3|B,3 B,2 G,|A,3 A,2 A,|
B,B,B, B,2 B,|C2 D E2 E|D2 C B,2 A,|G,3 G,2:|
|:F|G2 E D2 C|B,2 C D2 F|G2 E D2 B,|A,3 A,2 F|
G2 E D2 C|B,2 C D2 E|D2 C B,2 A,|G,3 G,2:|
There are 2 recordings of this tune.
Washing Day has been added to 9 tunebooks.
Originally learnt this in A-flat, which has something going for it with this tune because there are few natural resonances on the fiddle in this key, and so gives a darker sound. The fingering’s not all that difficult either. However, it’s far more practical to play it in G, which is the transcription here.
I believe it may be an old English tune, but I could be wrong. Anyway, it’s a good strong tune which would be ideal for beginners.
There are words to go with it:
"Thump! Thump! Scrub! Scrub!, Scrub, scrub away!
The devil a bit of peace I git upon the washing day!"
I don’t know whether it is a function of my monitor or what, but in the sheetmusic the low A’s look just like B’s. The ABC is correct.
This and similar melodies are well known as basic traditional song tunes. In Scotland it would be There’s Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose.
Your ABC would have been better (and friendlier) written an octave higher.
Hetty, good point. I considered it. However, the tune was intended to be in the lower register, and it appears as such in Lionel Bacon - consider the words that go with it, and someone who is fed up with doing the washing - and I’m sure it would lose its effect if it were played in its entirety an octave higher. A solution, which I think is acceptable, and is found, for instance in The Grumbling Old Man and Cackling Old Woman (and other tunes), which also has the A-part in the lower register, is to play the B-part an octave higher.
It depends what instrument you play this tune on, but it is a fiddle tune and comes out really well if played energetically on the G and D strings. I recognise that not all instruments can manage that low register, so another solution is to transpose it up a 5th to D - easy for the fiddle because the same fingering is used but now on the next two strings up - and it would be in a good register for other instruments.
I still think it sounds best of all in its original A-flat on the G and D strings, for the reason I gave in my first post, but obviously this isn’t a very good idea if you expect most non-fiddle players to play in that key!
Comparisons have to be made between these two tunes. To me they will always be two seperate & different tunes even though they share the same notes and structure. They come from two different aspects of British folk culture. washing Day is a Cotswold Morris Dance tune from the village of Adderbury and is played as a slow jig to allow for the stepping, the singing and the stick tapping. ‘Nae Good Luck’ on the other hand would be played as a hornpipe/schottishe, in 4/4 and much brisker. Also note that the ‘B’ music of ‘Washing Day’ becomes the ‘A’ music of ‘Nae Good luck….’
The stepping for ‘Washing Day’ would be: "L-R-L-hop, R-L-R-hop" over two bars of 6/8. The stepping I have always associated for use with ‘Nae Good Luck…’ would be: "step-hop, step-hop" over a bar of 4/4 dotted (swung) notes.