September 2017 - "Packington's Pound"

Dulcimer Sessions

Dulcimer Sessions

This month's tune is a 16th Century English folk tune called "Packington's Pound". David recorded this tune on his 1992 recording "Dulcimer Sessions". It has the haunting quality characteristic of many Aeolian (minor) mode tunes. "Packington" is believed to refer to John Packington, who was a favorite of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. The title Packington's Pound refers to an incident in which Sir John built a pond, or "pound", which was ordered removed as it encroached on a public highway. He then cut through the walls and let the water flood the countryside.

The tune was thought to have been composed by the English lute player Francis Cutting, though more recent evidence suggest he may have merely arranged an older tune for his instrument. It has been used as the melody for countless ballads over the years. One of the most well-known uses was as the setting for a rather cynical song titled "Thus Gamesters United" from the 1728 satiric opera "The Beggar's Opera" by John Gay

Here’s a clip of David’s recording of this tune from his “Dulcimer Sessions” CD:

This is a 2-part arrangement, melody and backup.  It is in the key of Am, which is accomplished out of D-A-d tuning by capo'ing at the 4th fret (although no capo is required to play the backup part).  Find a playing partner and enjoy.  I'm sure that David will be listening with a huge grin on his face.

Tull GlazenerDavid Schnaufer