Oxford Ramble

Speed the Plough



A Taste of Ale

Six for Gold

Knock at the Knocker, Ring at the Bell

The Robber Bird

Three Quarter Time

The 25th



Astley's Ride

Oxford Ramble track 12

This tune was written down by John Baptist Malchair who had heard it "Played in the Streets of Oxford Ash Wednesday Feb 25 1789". He had no title for it, but it is in fact one of a number of tunes named after Philip Astley (1742-1814), a famous equestrian performer widely regarded as the founder of the modern circus.

The tune is on page 82 of Malchair's 'Vol 3 The Third Collection of Tunes', now available via the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

Astley's Ride as notated by Malchair, 1789. Image copyright VWML.

"Played in the Streets of Oxford Ash Wednesday Feb 25 1789" (Astley's Ride)
Source: John Baptist Malchair MS 'Vol 3 The Third Collection of Tunes', Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

Astley's Ride, as collected by Malchair, 1789.

First time through played solo on pipe and tabor by Tom Bower

Watch Video
Astleys Ride
Holywell Music Room, Oxford, 3rd May 1993.

 For an attempt to play the tune exactly as noted by Malchair, see my Squeezed Out blog Astley's Ride