Tune of the Day: Jockey to the Fair
This melody, dating at least from the mid-18th century, was a popular tune throughout England and served several functions, including dancing and marching. Morris dance versions are widespread, while one version of the tune was used as a march in the British army during the Revolutionary War period. The word “jockey” is Scottish in origin and derives from the word “joculator”, which by the 17th century meant an itinerant minstrel.
The oldest occurrence of this tune in print is in T. Straight's 24 Favourite Dances for the Year 1779, under the title “General Action”.