The Bloody Battle at Billingsgate 'The Orange – Hit and Miss'

The Bloody Battle at Billingsgate 'The Orange – Hit and Miss'

circa 1665; a scolding bout between two young Fish-Women, Doll and Kate
author of text

This is an example of flyting—a form of (usually good-natured) verbal banter common among the fishwives of London’s Billingsgate Market: ‘When they have done their faire, they meet in mirth, singing and dancing, and in the middle they use scolding and end not till their money or wit be cleane spent out’ (Donald Lupton, 1622). These railing matches were evidently something of a spectacle, with onlookers even awarding a prize for the ‘victor’. The tune called for on the Pepys broadsheet (and used here) is ‘The Orange’. Also known as ‘With a Fading’, it was associated with Jigs, drolls and clowning. We have combined it with another tune, ‘Hit and Miss’.

Kate and Doll, two fishwives

from notes by Lucie Skeaping © 2009


The English Stage Jig


Track 15 on CDA67754 [6'10]

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