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Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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A country new jig
Pepys, i, 260, 278, B.L., four woodcuts, four columns.
Another splendid example of a dramatic jig, dating perhaps about 1620. There are four dramatis personae, a fair plot, and considerable op­portunities for effective singing and dancing. This jig no doubt made a satisfactory conclusion to a play. Neither of the tunes is given in Chappell's Popular Music. The first is derived from "A Maiden's Lamentation for a Bedfellow. Or, I can, nor will no longer lye alone. As it hath often been sung at the Court. To the tune of I will give thee kisses, one, two, or three" and is used also in No. 13. A ballad of "The Northamptonshire Lover," printed early in the seventeenth century by Henry Gosson, is to the tune of Falero lero lo (Pepys, 1, 324).
In stanza 16 the curious notion that women who died maids were doomed to "lead apes in hell" is referred to. There are innumerable statements of this queer idea in the English dramatists from Peele and Shakespeare to Cibber (cf. The Double Gallant, ed. 1749, P- ^3)- That the idea has not entirely been lost seems to be shown in a remark made by the heroine of Mary Hastings Bradley's short story, "The Fairest Sex," in the Metropolitan Magazine for March, 1919 (p. 32): "I told him that rather 'n kiss him I'd lead apes through hell a thousand years." Professor Kittredge thinks that the phrase is still in common use. He refers me to No. 21 A in F. J. Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads, where leading apes in hell for seven years is mentioned as a punishment or pen­ance; to discussions in Germania, xxxm, 245, and the Modern Language Quarterly, vn, 16; and to a comparatively recent use of the expression in Allan Ramsay's Poems (1800), 11, 259.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III