This rousing tune first appears as ‘Jamaica’ in John Playford’s Dancing Master
(Fourth edition, 1670), although earlier in the century it was known as ‘The Slow Men of London’. Ballad genealogy is complicated and in this instance too long for sleeve notes but, briefly, no text survives that refers to the island of Jamaica. The text on this disc is by Richard Climsell. Printed about 1640, the tune called for is ‘The Slow Men of London’. It comes from the Roxburghe Collection (No 166) in The British Museum.
from notes by Douglas Wootton © 1981