Ceolas  >  Tunes  >  Fiddler's Companion

The Fiddler's Companion

Search the Fiddler's Companion by typing a partial title in the box below.
Perl regular expressions can be used if you're into such arcania.


Result of search for "Cease Your Funning":

CEASE YOUR FUNNING [1]. AKA and see "Lofty Mountains," "Constant Billy." English, Air (6/8 time). The song appears in John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1729) and The Fashionable Lady (1730). Chappell reminds us that the tune is, as are all the tunes in Gay's famous work, older than the opera. Kidson (1922) dates the tune to the late 17th century where he finds it on half-sheet music attached to the song "Constant Billy." In fact, the air appears as "Constant Billy" in the third volume of Playford's Dancing Master. Sharp (1907) explores the relationship between "Constant Billy" and "Cease Your Funning," and points out that Gay was not a musician himself and employed the services of a German, Pepusch, by name, to note down and arrange the airs which Gay sang to him. "It needs but a cursory examination of this opera to see that the airs are anything but faithful transcriptions of genuine peasant-tunes..." and concludes that Gay or Pepusch, or both, were guilty of alterations or 'improvements.' "The rhythm of the fine old melody 'Constant Billy' is changed that it might fit the metre of the new words of 'Cease Your Funning', and the tune adorned with a dominant modulation at the middle cadence."
***
The first two lines of Gay's song go:
***
When the hills and lofty mountains
And the vales were hid in snow.
***
There have been some claims that "Cease Your Funning" was derived ('stolen') from the Welsh tune "The Ash Grove," despite the fact that the latter first appeared in print in the Bardic Museum of 1802. As above, it clearly derives from "Constant Billy," and the claim for Welsh provenance has no merit, according to Kidson (Groves).
***
Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), Vol. 2, 1859; pgs. 119-120. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; pg. 61. Sharp (English Folk-Song), 1907; pg. 113.
T:Cease Your Funning [1]
L:1/8
M:6/8
S:Sharp - English Folk-Song (1907)
K:B_
B2f dB2|e2c AF2|d2B GE2|cFA B3|B2f dB2|e2c AF2|d2B GEG|cFA B3:|
||B2b b2f|B2g g2e|A2f fBA|Gf =e f3|B2f dB2|e2c AF2|d2B GEG|cFA B3||

CEASE YOUR FUNNING [2]. Scottish, Reel. B Flat Major. Standard. AAB. This melody first appeared in Joseph Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, Book 5 (c. 1846). Source for notated version: J. Murdoch Henderson, 1902-1972 (Aberdeen, Scotland) [Hardie]. Hardie (Caledonian Companion), 1986; pg. 40.

LOFTY MOUNTAINS. AKA and see "Cease your funning," "Constant Billy." English, Air. The air dates from the late 17th century and the song begins:
When the hills and lofty mountains
And the vales were hid in snow.


Ceolas  >  Tunes  >  Fiddler's Companion