Tune of the Day: The New Rigged Ship
This tune is no more so popular as it once was. Some might remember that in the 1970s it was recorded by the English traditional revival band Oak, at the beginning of the resurgence of interest in English traditional dance music played for English dances.
In her 1998 book Dancing Through Time, historian Allison Thompson reports that the English novelist Thomas Hardy (Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge) grew up in a musical family and was an accomplished dance fiddler and accordion player from early youth. Young Thomas played with his father at village dances and, at the age of twelve, was reported to have played “The New Rigged Ship”, a favorite dance, for nearly three quarters of an hour before his hostess stopped him for fear he might burst a blood vessel!