This tune has led a varied life, from harp tune to ballad opera, morris dance tune and folk song. Although written down at various stages, it has clearly also been transmitted aurally and put to different uses. Here is a score showing the first 8 bars in various different versions.
Click here to download a copy of the above, and here for the next two pages.
Full scores of the originals are available below, with their original keys and time signatures
Example A: Miss MacDermott, or the Princess Royal; or clock here for the original version in Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland, arranged for the piano.
Example B: The Princess Royal the New Way. From Walsh's Dancing Master, c1730
Example C: The Princess Royal. From Nathaniel Gow's Complete Repository, c1810-20
Example D: Air by Carolan. From O'Farrell's Pocket Companion, Vol 4, c1810
Example E: The Arethusa, from the opera Lock and Key (1796), composed/adapted by William Shield, words by Prince Hoare
Example F: The Princess Royal (Bampton)
Example G: The Princess Royal (Adderbury)
Example H: The Princess Royal (Sherborne)
Example I: The Princess Royal (Pat Shaw Collection)
Example J: Boney's Lamentation (or Abdication), sung by Henry Burstow, Horsham, Sussex, 1893; learnt from his father at the age of 6 (i.e. c1832)
Example K: Y Dywysoges Frenhinol (The Princess Royal), from MS of Thomas David Llewelyn (1828-1879), Welsh harpist
Within the Morris tradition, it has also developed in several different ways - see the selection below:
Abingdon Adderbury Bampton Bidford Bledington Ducklington Field Town Longborough Oddington