Double Lead Through

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The tune most commonly known by this title was recorded by William Kimber, anglo-concertina player from Headington Quarry, just outside Oxford.

This was originally a song, 'Légende de la Mère Angot', from Act I of the three act opéra-comique 'La fille de Madame Angot', written by French composer Charles Lecoq. The opera was first produced in Brussels at the Théâtre des Fantaisies-Parisiennes on the 4 December 1872. The piece caused a sensation in Britain where it ran for a consecutive five-hundred nights and then appeared in London in various forms as well as being extensively toured. It is still a great favourite with the French, and is still, apparently, played almost continuously in the Asterix theme park, south of Paris. (Source: Hugh Rippon)

A transcription of Kimber's version, and the dance which it accompanied, was printed in English Dance and Song, vol X, no. 3 (February 1946). The tune was also included on a 78rpm record recorded in October 1946, and issued by HMV in association with the EFDSS in 1947.

The tune which Cecil Sharp collected from William Kimber as ‘Double Lead Through’ in 1908 was a completely different melody - a version of ‘King of the Cannibal Islands’. See

A variety of other tunes have been noted under the title 'Double Lead Through', from Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Sussex. See


Billy Kimber - Solo Concertina (His Master's Voice UK, B.9519), Jan 1947 10" 78 rpm