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Music from the West.                    195
That a great composer could turn Welsh tunes to good account, is proved in Handel's English 'Acis and Galatea' (there was also an Italian version of the story by him), and in his ' Deborah.' The choruses 'Happy we' and 'O Baal' are clearly referable to the tune called in Wales 'The Rising Sun,' in which, as in the other tune, ' Of a noble race was Shenkin,' the naked figure of bass accom­paniment, or call it a ground bass, stands out.
With this melody Handel may have made acquaintance, owing to his intimacy with the Gran­ville family. But it is remarkable that so few have got beyond the boundaries of this country, as ' Auld lang syne' and 'The Last Rose of Summer' have done from Scotland and Ireland. And yet Mr. Thomson of Edinburgh, a man who seems to have been far in advance of his time, committed a large collection of the best known airs to Haydn for arrangement, and the same were published with words by song-writers no less eminent than Burns, Campbell, Scott, Joanna Baillie, Professor Smyth of Cambridge, Mrs. John Hunter, Mrs. Opie, Mrs. Grant. From the masterly neatness with which the writer of the' Canzonets ' handled these old melodies,
it may be inferred that he was fully aware of their
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III