Tune of the Day: Cease Your Funning
The song “Cease Your Funning” appears in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728). Its tune is, however, certainly older than the opera. English folksong collector Frank Kidson 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. There have been some claims that “Cease Your Funing” was derived from the Welsh tune “The Ash Grove”, despite the fact that the latter first appeared in print in 1802. According to Kidson, these claims have no merit, as the tune clearly derives from “Constant Billy”.
The present arrangement for two flutes is taken from Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in 1833.