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Help: How about the Dulcimer

22 Nov 99 - 06:59 AM (#139449)
Subject: Help: How about the Dulcimer

I should like to refresh this thread under a slightly more engaging title than the evidently not very catchy "James Tunnicliff" heading that I tried a few days ago. Hope that's alright, please advise if I'm getting the etiquette wrong. Here's my original message:

Can I please forward this request sent to a local history list in England.

Thanks, Malcolm Smith.

From: Susan Hoyle Subject: "How about the dulcimer" To: VICTORIA@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU

Please forgive any cross-postings.

I am trying to trace a song which was printed in England in 1856 or possibly 1857. It was called "How about the dulcimer", and although I have a passing reference to its being printed, I have no idea whether it was words only ("to be sung to the tune of 'xyz' "), or tune only, or both. It was by a farm labourer called James Tunnicliff, who lived near Abbots Bromley (a farmer called Charlesworth paid for the printing); I don't know where it was printed, but a local place seems likely---Rugeley or Stafford perhaps, or even Abbots Bromley itself? And having it printed may not be the same as 'published': perhaps the song/tune/verse got no further than the Charlesworths' parlour---though I would expect it was printed in order for it to have a wider circulation than that

Further---I have seen references to the dulcimer in connection with the Horn Dance at Abbots Bromley. I know of no connection between the people I have mentioned and the dance, although they must have known about it and seen it, perhaps even taken part. But the song "How about the dulcimer" may have been written with the dance in mind---or maybe not. .

22 Nov 99 - 01:53 PM (#139587)
Subject: RE: Help: How about the Dulcimer
From: Les B

Do you know if it refers to the hammered dulcimer, or to the lap/strumed/Appalachian dulcimer ?

22 Nov 99 - 02:11 PM (#139591)
Subject: RE: Help: How about the Dulcimer
From: McGrath of Harlow

England that time, it'd have to be a real dulcimer, ie hammered (that's not to be rude about the "Appalachian Dulcimer", which is a lovely instrument; but calling it a "dulcimer" is a bit like calling a harmonica a "Harp" - an affectionate nickname.

22 Nov 99 - 02:24 PM (#139596)
Subject: RE: Help: How about the Dulcimer
From: Bert

Hi Malcolm, Welcome to Mudcat, We're not too strong on the etiquette thing around here. It's a matter of 'whatever does the job'. A "Lyr Req:" prefix might help a little in letting folks know that you are looking for words, but it's not enforced.

I don't know of the song. Sounds like a local thing. I guess you've already tried the local libraries.