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Dance to Your Daddy
Last updated: 22.04.17
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Dance to your daddy is a fine little dandling song which can be sung till the cows come home. I cannot recall when I first heard it, certainly not in my childhood more probably on a folk music broadcast as I always associate this song with soft, light and lilting Scottish or Northumbrian voices. The version I sing can be found in Andrew Gant's Folk Songs of the British Isles. He writes that the text and melody are traditional Tyneside and that the song became well known in the 1970's as the theme tune to the TV series When the boat comes in
Since writing the above in the late 1990's and since joining the Tyneside Maritime Chorus in 2011, my take on this song has completely altered. Then, I had considered Dance to Your Daddy to be a childrens song but now, in the company of full-bloodied Geordies it is most definitely a Tyneside song. One of my personal highlights of the weekly rehearsals is the belting out of "when the bote kums in" along with my fellow basses. Great stuff indeed!
Referring to Dance ti thy daddy, John Stokoe in his Songs and Ballads of Northern England wrote that the air and refrain of this song are of considerably greater antiquity than the song itself, which was written by Mr. William Watson, the author of Thumping Luck to yon Toon and other popular Tyneside lyrics. He was a painter to trade, and died at his residence in St. Martin's Court, Newgate Street, Newcastle, on 4th February, 1840, aged 44 years.
It is quite possible that the old time music hall performer Charles Ernest Catcheside-Warrington performed this song as he published it in his Tyneside Songs Volume 4.
A version is given in The Tyne Songster and a fine piano accompanied duet of Dance to Your Daddy is given in Singing Hinnies Book 1.
This song may be found in the Tyneside Maritime Chorus songbook
     Performer CD Title Supplier
       
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