Tune of the Day: The Queen's Shilling
The first appearance of this reel in print is in Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland, published in Chicago in 1903, under the title “Lady Mary Ramsay”. The title “The Queen's Shilling” made its debut in O'Neill's “The Dance Music of Ireland”, published in 1907.
The King's shilling, sometimes called the Queen's shilling when the Sovereign is female, is a historical slang term referring to the earnest payment of one shilling given to recruits to the Armed forces of the United Kingdom. To “take the King's/Queen's shilling” was to agree to serve as a sailor or soldier in the Royal Navy or the British Army. The term is still used informally, although the practice officially stopped in 1879.