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Welcome to the Traditional Tune Archive
The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as
The Fiddler's Companion.

Featured Tunes


Listen to the featured tunes of the week THE PEACOCK FOLLOWED/FOLLOWS THE HEN. AKA and see “Brose and Butter,” "Cuddle Me Cuddy," "Here We Go Up," "Mad Moll (1),” “Up and Down Again,” "Virgin Queen," "Yellow Stockings." English; Jig (9/8 time), Old Hornpipe, and Air. England, Northumberland. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Bruce & Stokoe): AABBCCDDEEFFGG (Peacock). "This tune has been claimed as Scottish, and has appeared in the collections of that country under the title of 'Brose and Butter', but in reality it is one of the old English bagpipe hornpipes of the kind so plentiful in the 17th century and in the former part of the 18th. The earliest copy of the tune we have been able to discover is in Playford's Dancing Master, part II, of the edition of 1698, where it appears under the name of 'Mad Moll'; it is nearly identical with our pipe tune as above noted. A slightly different version of the tune was also known by the names of 'Yellow Stockings' and 'The Virgin Queen'--the latter title seeming to identify it with Queen Elizabeth, as the name of Mad Moll does with her sister Queen Mary, who was said to be subject to fits of mental aberration. The words of 'The Virgin Queen' or of 'Mad Moll' are not known to exist, but they probably consisted of some fulsome panegyric on Queen Elizabeth at the expense of her (un)fortunate sister. Allen Ramsey, in his Tea Table Miscellany, published in 1740, printed Dean Swift's song of 'Oh! My Kitten, My Kitten!' to the second version of this tune, and called it 'Yellow Stockings.' This, so far as we have been able to trace, is the first appearance of the air in a Scottish publication. Upwards of half a century later it attained great popularity in that country under the name of 'Brose and Butter', as before mentioned" (Stokoe). The tune appears in Northumberland musician William Vickers’ 1770-72 music manuscript under the title “Cuddle Me Cuddy.” The following lyrics, fairly suggestive, appear in Joseph Cawhall’s A Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs (1888):

A’ the neet ower an’ ower, ...... 'neet' = night
An’ a’ the neet ower agyen—
A’ the neet ower an’ ower,
The peacock followed the hen.
A Hen’s a hungerie dish,
A geusse is hollow within; ...... 'geusse' = goose
There’s nee deceit iv a puddin’; ...... ‘no deceit in a pudding’
A pye’s a dainty thing.

THE PEACOCK FOLLOWS THE HEN full annotations and Past Featured Tunes

T:Mad Moll. JJo2.112
T:Peacock Followed the Hen. JJo2.112
Z:vmp.Anne Wride 2014
B:J.Johnson Choice Collection Vol 2 after c1750
W:Longways for as many as will
A |: c>de cAA cAA | c>de cAA B2G | c>de cAA cAA | B>cd d>ed B2G :|
|: c>de (ge)e (ge)e | c>de (gf)e f2d | c>de (ge)e (ge)e | B>cd d>ed B2G :|
W:The 1st Cu. take hands and draw in 2d Cu. Place, the 2d Cu. at the same time hands to 1st Cu. Place
W:then each Cu. Back to Back with Partners
W:2d Cu does the same which brings 1st and 2d Cu. as they began
W:All four Right hands across half round, then Left hands across, back again to the same
W:First Cu. cross over above 2d Cu to 2d Cu. Place, then go the whole figure of eight, which brings the 1st Cu to the 2d Cu. Proper

Why TTA Who builds the Archive

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.

This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.

Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni

Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
Above all, the developers wish you joy in the use of the TTA.

Latest Tunes

Help Getting started


Navigation: Registered users can navigate the Traditional Tune Archive for information in a number of ways.

  • Search. The Search function is located at the bottom of the SideBar on the left, and can be used to search the entire index for any key word.
  • Alphabetically by tune title. Under “The Index” on the SideBar on the left is “All Tunes”. Click on “All Tunes” to open up the list of tune titles in the TTA arranged in alphabetical order, 200 titles to a page. At the top of the page is an alphabetical breakdown that serves as a shortcut to pages. Clicking on any title will bring one to the music and tune fields. Once the tune appears, clicking “Tune Discussion” at the bottom of the page (below the notation) will open up the narrative information on the tune.
  • Query the Archive. The “Query the Archive” function under “The Index” in the sidebar can be used to draw down reports from the TTA in either in single items or in a number of combinations. One might, for example, use a single item query to run a report in the TTA for a particular composer/core source. Clicking on the arrow at the right of the bar draws down a list of composer/core sources, or one may be typed in. For example, clicking on “Bill Pigg” and then the “Run Query” tab at the bottom left will result in a list of all compositions listed in the TTA that the Northumbrian piper either composed or is the core source for. Reports may also be run in combinations, as, for example, by selecting “William Marshall” as a composer/core source, “Three Flats” for the number of accidentals, and “Major” for the Key/Mode. This will result in a report of all Eb Major compositions of Scottish fiddler/composer William Marshall that are indexed in the TTA.
  • Drill Down. Cumulative information about TTA entries can be found in the “Drill Down” under “The Index” in the SideBar on the left.
  • Tune Books/Magazines in the TTA can be accessed under “Issues” in the left side bar. These are reproductions of publications for which access has been granted to the TTA by the copyright holder, under the Creative Commons license.