A PEPYSIAN GARLAND - online book

Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
16
The Frenchmen 's wonder
4to Rawlinson 566, fol. 78; Wood E. 25 (64), B.L., two woodcuts, four columns.
The ballad is summarized from a book called A Trve Relation of The Prodigious Battle Of Birds, Fought in the lower Region of the Air, Between the Cities of Dole and Salines, The 26th of February last 167^. According to the Letters from Besancon, of the First of this Instant March, 1676 (Wood D. 28 (22)). In the opinion of the authors of both tract and ballad "the like of this marvel hath never been." But to say nothing of the earlier prodigy at Cork (No. 24), more startling still must have been the sight seen in the air in Austria, 1621, as reported in Richard Shanne's diary (Additional MS. 38,599, fol. 53) from "the historie of Gallobelgicus":
In the moneth of August there was both seene and hearde in the higher Austria, A most straunge wonder, that is to saie: of two great Armies in the Ayre, fightinge one against an other, and thundringe of, and discharginge greate Ordinance, with A hidious clamore.
Hone's Every-Day Book (1889, 11, 570) reports that in August, 1736, near Preston two large flocks of birds met "with such rapidity, that one hundred and eighty of them fell to the ground," and that the carcasses were picked up and sold.
The enormously long title gives quite as much information as the text of the ballad itself. The reason for this was that the printers wished to use the title, torn from the remainder of the broadside, as advertising matter to be pasted on walls or posts. Salins and Dole are towns on the eastern frontier of France, in the department of Jura.
The music for In summer time as given in Chappell's Popular Music, 11, 392, 542, does not fit this ballad. That music is written for iambic septenary couplets, while the present ballad (like those, for example, in the Roxburghe Ballads, vi, 567, 789; vii, 702) is in iambic tetrameter quatrains. Few tunes are more frequently cited than the Summer time written for the latter measure. It is named as an alternative tune to Callino in J. P. Collier's Book of Roxburghe Ballads, p. 64; to Flora farewell and Love's Tide in the Roxburghe Ballads, vi, 567. Frequently it is given as equivalent to My bleeding heart or Sir Andrew Barton {Roxburghe Ballads, 1, 9; in, 23), neither of which is known. I have seen, however, in the Manchester Free Reference Library a ballad of "The Great Turk's Terrible Challenge" to
R.P.G.
l6l
L
Previous Contents Next






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III