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This programme uses readings from Thomas Hardy and contemporary sources to tell about the church bands, which his family belonged to at Stinsford.

Our programmes are continually improved, and different music may be substituted from time to time.

Major Malley’s Reel is a traditional Irish reel. The air is in the Hardy MSS. Such MSS rarely give full harmonisations of dance tunes. We know from the few that exist that they were indeed played, probably mostly by ear, so Mike Bailey has arranged all the dance music in our programme.

O happy Day that fixed my Choice by Philip Doddridge (1701-51). Tune: New Sabbath by Thomas Phillips of Bristol (1735-1807).

Psalm 133 New Version by Tate & Brady is known as the Fellowship Psalm. Our quotation is from The Return of the Native. The tune Lydia is attributed to Thomas Phillips (see above).

Magnificat from the Evening Service in E flat by William Jackson (1730-1803), organist of Exeter Cathedral from 1777. Jackson’s Te Deum in F is still sung at the Methodist Conference.

Psalm 145 is often used in Harvest and Rogation services. The Old Version words by Sternhold & Hopkins were set to Seal tune by Michael Beesly, first printed in 1746.

Psalm 53 New Version to the tune Devizes by Isaac Tucker, first published in 1792. This version is from a Dorset MS.

Dances: Hardy describes The Triumph in Under the Greenwood Tree. Enrico is supposed to be his favourite tune. The tunes and dance instructions are found in the Hardy family MSS.

Here’s a health to all good lasses is a popular glee, originally in Italian. The composer, Felice Giardini (1716-96), settled in England. He wrote several hymn tunes, the best known being Moscow.

A Canon of Four in One (4 part round) which we will teach to the audience. The words are clearly a long metre form of verse 1 of Psalm 128, one of the wedding psalms. The round is in a MS from Bramley in Hampshire. The tune was written for other words by William Tans’ur (ca.1706-83).

Psalm 128 New Version is proper for weddings, but there are surprisingly few tunes specifically for it. This one is by Michael Beesly, and comes from a Lincolnshire MS.

Vulcan’s Cave is a jig from the Hardy MSS, where two parts are given. We have added a bass part.


Rejoice the glorious day is come, from our own MS, is typical of the carols sung when Going the Rounds. We recognise the tune as the last part of a verse anthem written by Thomas Shoel of Montacute, Somerset, for Isaac Watts’ Joy to the World.

Behold the morning star arise is the carol Old William calls for in the scene at Farmer Shiner’s house in Under the Greenwood Tree. The music is from the MS book of Thomas Hardy’s father.

Hardy mentioned Arise and hail earlier, during the preparation for Going the Rounds. It is in the Hardy MSS and also in our own MS.

While Shepherds Watch’d by Tate & Brady. We sing a medley of six tunes. T. N. Warmington collected the first tune in Cornwall in 1912. It turns out to be Thomas Clark’s (1775-1859) tune for Psalm 33 New Version, 1805. The second tune is from a 19th century MS from Roadwater & Old Cleeve, Somerset. Crowle is the only minor key tune linked to these words. It is attributed to William Tans’ur, and was published in 1724. Otford is the tune the Hardy band used for these words. It was written in 1746 by Michael Beesly of Upton, Blewbury, now in Oxfordshire. Pentonville tune by William Marsh of Canterbury, first published 1816, is among many for these words sung in Sheffield pubs, and widely found. Known as Leicester in some sources, the last tune is by William Knapp (1699-1768) of Wareham and Poole.

I Sowed the Seeds of Love was collected by the Hammond brothers in Dorset about 1904. Our setting is by Mike Bailey.

Anthem from Psalm 65 by William Cole (1737-1824). His setting of the prose Psalm, published in 1768, shows some nice word-painting. We have added an instrumental bass part to two of the duets. Competent country musicians might be expected to improvise such a part.

God Save Great George Our King is in a setting used in the early 1800s. The words evolved and became popular during the reign of George III, 1760-1820, so at this time it had only ever been sung of and for him. Please join in.

Bonaparte’s Air is a fitting tune for the majestic words of Psalm 99 New Version. It was first published in 1803, and our setting comes from a music MS used in Bramley in N.E. Hampshire from about 1815 onwards.

Rule Britannia from Alfred, 1740, by Dr. Thomas Arne (1710-1778), was used to stir up patriotism in his theatre audiences during the '45 Jacobite rebellion. Our setting ca.1815 is by Vincent Novello (1781-1861), organist at the Portuguese embassy chapel in London at the time, with Arne's introduction. Please join in.

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