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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40               A CENTURY OF BALLADS
an "ayre" attributed to Dr. John Bull, and he is often cited as the composer ; while Mr. Frank Kidson has recently brought forward a new claim in favour of John Oswald, a Scotch­man, which seems at any rate quite as valid as Carey's.
It is significant to note that Carey himself laid no claim to being the composer ; it was left to be made by his son, George Savile Carey, who stated in 1795 that he had received the following letter from Dr. Harington, of Bath :—
" Dear Sir,
"The anecdote you mention respecting
your father's being the author and composer of
' God Save the King' is certainly true. That
most respectable gentleman, my worthy friend
and patient, Mr. Smith, has often told me what
follows, viz. 'that your father came to him with
the words and music, desiring him to correct the
bass, which was not proper ; and, at your father's
request, Mr. Smith wrote another bass in correct
harmony.' Mr. Smith, to whom I read your
letter this day, repeated the same account, and
on his authority I pledge myself for the truth of
the statement.
"H. Harington."
It seems curious to find that about 1743-5 there was extant a version of the words in
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