The Bonnie Pit Laddie

Here’s the video of The Bonny Pit Laddie, a song/tune from Northumbria, printed in the 1882 Northumbrian Minstrelsy, with earlier versions printed elsewhere in 1812 and 1770.

The Bonnie Pit Laddie.png

 

Click here for the dots in PDF form.

 

In the version I know, each line is sung twice, meaning that you’ll get through the tune twice, but in others I’ve found the second and fourth lines are follow one another making up one B section:

The bonnie pit laddie, the canny pit laddie, the bonnie pit laddie for me, oh (x 2)

He sits in a hole as black as the coal and brings the bright silver for me, oh (x 2)

 

The bonnie pit laddie, the canny pit laddie, the bonnie pit laddie for me, oh (x 2)

He sits on his cracket & hews in his jacket & brings the bright silver for me, oh (x 2)

 

The pit in question would have been a coal mine, and the ‘bright silver’ refers to money earned.  For those of you in education, or for anyone who wants to know more about mining songs, there is a great digital info pack available from the EFDSS website here.

 

Whitehall Minuet

Here’s the Whitehall Minuet, a tune in three from the Playford collection which dates from the early 1700s.

 

Here are the dots for the tune (PDFs here for the tune, and the tune with ornaments and phrasing):

Whitehall Minuet with ornaments

In the chords, we alternated between a playing a straight three for two bars (1 & 2 & 3 &), and playing a syncopated rhythm for two bars (1 & 2 & 3 &), which looks a bit like this:

WHM chord rhythm

Technically we’re going from a 3/4 feel to a 6/8 feel, giving the tune a bit more movement and forward momentum, maybe verging on feeling a little like a jazz waltz.  We kept it to two bar chunks for the sake of clarity and ensemble but you could experiment with changing the rhythm in different places at home.  Here’s me noodling about with the rhythm: