Dargason jig

Also known as Cynwyd, The Hawthorne Tree, Sedany, The Sedany, Sedauny, Welsh Sedawny.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

Dargason has been added to 2 tune sets.

Dargason has been added to 23 tunebooks.

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Two settings

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Thirteen comments


An English dance tune that dates back to at least 1580. Also known as Cynway, Sedany, Welsh Sedawny, The Hawthorne Tree.

I’ve transcribed it from a facsimile of the Brydges’ MS held in the Folger Shakespeare Library (Capitol Hill, Washington DC).

The composer Gustav Holst used the tune to great effect in the fourth movement of his “St Paul’s Suite” for string orchestra, where he showed his genius by counterpointing this rousing tune with Greensleeves (also from the same gneral period). Anyone who has played Holst’s suite in an orchestra will know what I mean.

I’ve omitted a bridge section between the A part and the B part, which I imagine was relevant to the dance of the time. This bridge section is | D6 | D6 | D6 | D6 | G6 | D6 | E6 | F6 |.

I think the C part also is a bridge leading back to the A part.


One other thing I omitted was the d3 preceding the A part in the Brydges’ MS - the usual dance band warning that things are about to happen.


“Cynwyd” (Welsh) = “fierce” (English) !

Typo in my first post - “Cynway” should be “Cynwyd”


According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, “Dargason” possibly derives from an Anglo-Saxon word for dwarf or fairy. The same source says that “Sedany” means a woman dressed in silks.


The Brydges facsimile of this tune wasn’t all that easy to read, either on screen or in a print-out. I think there is another possible reading of bars 1 and 3 in the A-part as
B2G G2A and c2A A2B respectively, which seem to work. Anyway, because of this uncertainty I’m not going to alter the published ABC.

Stolen property

Appropriated by Gustav Holst for the St. Paul Suite.

Apologies lazyhound, you’ve already said that.

Hawthorn(e) Tree - Lyrics

The “Hawthorne Tree” alternative title arises from a song (early 19th c ?) that was set to this tune. Here are the lyrics of it :

It was a maid of my country
As she came by a hawthorn tree,
As full of flow’rs as might be seen,
She marvelled to see the tree so green,
At last she asked of the tree
How came this freshness unto thee?
And every branch so fair and clean!
I marvel that you grow so green,
The tree made answer by and by,
I’ve cause to grow triumphantly
The sweetest dew that ever be seen
Doth fall on me to keep me green.
Yes, quoth the maid, but where you grow
You stand at hand for every blow
Of every man for to be seen
I marvel that you grow so green,
Though many one take flowers from me
And many a branch out of my tree
I have such store they will not be seen,
For more and more my twigs grow green,
But how, an they chance to cut thee down,
And carry thy branches into the town?
Then they will never more be seen,
To grow again so fresh and green.
Though that you do it is no boot
Although they cut me to the root,
Next year again I will be seen
To bud my branches fresh and green.
And you, dear maid can not do so,
For when your beauty once does go
Then will it never more be seen,
As I with my branches can grow green.
The maid with that began to blush
And turn’d her from the hawthorn bush
She thought herself so fair and clean,
Her beauty still would ever grow green.
But after this never I could hear
Of this fair maiden anywhere
That ever she was in forest green
To talk again with the hawthorn green.

Interesting title.
Dargasson. In Irish gasson (from the French) means de lad or boy. Though it’s slightly derogatory it’s far more preferable to the alternative manín that is on the point of insult.

Now for the tune.


An E-flat variant of the tune appears as tune #105 (gan ainm) in the Petrie Collection:
T:gan ainm
G2E E2E | G2B BAG | A2F F2F | A2c cBA |
G2E E2E | G2B BGB | cde fed |1 e2c B2A:|2 e3 e2a |
g2e e2e | g2b bag | fdB BdB | BdB BdB |
g2e e2e | g2b bag | fdB Bcd | e3 e2a |
g2e e2e | g2b bag | fdB BdB | BdB BdB |
gag gag | aba aba | gag fed | e2c B2A |
G2E E2E | G2B BAG | A2F F2F | A2c cBA |
G2E E2E | G2B BGB | cde fed | e3 e3 ||


Did it ever occur to you that this is the tune of The Irish Washerwoman? According to Chappell it is one of the first published tunes