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Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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57
A banquet for sovereign husbands
Pepys, i, 402, B.L., three woodcuts, four columns. The first column is badly mutilated, so that the third and fourth stanzas have been filled in by guess.
The date of the ballad is after June 22, 1629, for at that time was licensed the ballad of "The Woman to the Plough and the Man to the Hen-Roost," after which the tune is named (Arber's Transcript, iv, 216; Roxburgke Ballads, vn, 185). "The Woman to the Plough" was to be sung to / have for all good wives a song, a tune named from the first line of Parker's "Merry Dialogue betwixt a Married Man and His Wife. To an Excellent Tune" {Roxburgke Ballads, 11, 159).
The idea of cuckoldry that underlies the "eating of the ram" is broadly implied: there is innuendo rather than actual coarseness of expression. The last stanza is cleverly designed to increase the sale of the ballad.
To the tune of The Woman to the Plow, and the Man to the Hen-Roost.
i ON Midsommer day I chanc't to goe Unto a place which many know: And there was done a merry lest, Which in my song shall be exprest. Let no man thinke this is a flamme, I sing the rosting of a Ramme.
2 Saint Giles'es in the fields, that towne, Which no place can for mirth put downe:
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III