A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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THE EVOLUTION OF THE BALLAD 19
whistles, but all his music is to rap out an oath." And again : "The word Carmen, as I find it in the dictionary, doth signify a verse, or a song; and betwixt carmen and carman there is some good correspondence, for versing, singing, and whistling, are all three musical."
Amongst other ballads which appear to have been immensely popular at this time may be mentioned "Watkin's Ale," "Chopping-Knives," and " Frier Fox-Taile."
"The words of these popular ballads," says Chappell, "were written by such men as Elder-ton, 'with his ale-crammed nose,' and Thomas Deloney, 'the balleting silk-weaver of Norwich.' The former is thus described in a MS. of the time of James I, formerly in the possession of Mr. Payne Collier :
" 'Will Elderton's red nose is famous everywhere, And many a ballet shows it cost him very dear ; In ale, and toast, and spice, he spent good store of coin, You need not ask him twice to take a cup of wine. But though his nose was red, his hand was very white, In work it never sped, nor took in it delight; No marvel therefore 'tis, that white should be his hand That ballets writ a score, as you well understand.'
" Nashe, in ' Have with you to Saffron Walden,' says of Deloney, ' He hath rhyme enough for all miracles, but whereas his muse, from the first peeping forth, hath stood at livery at an ale-house wisp, never exceeding a penny a quart, day or
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