Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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HENRY V.
39
(Hist. Eng. Poet., vol. ii. p. 257.) Also the following song, which Percy has printed in his Reliques of Ancient Poetry, from a M.S. in the Pepysian Library, and Stafford Smith, in his Collection of English Songs, 1779 fol., in fac-similo of the old notation, as well as in modem score, and with a chorus in three parts to the words, " Deo gratias, Anglia, redde pro victoria." The tune is here given with the first verse of the words,* for although the original is a regular composi­tion in three parts, it serves to shew the state of melody at an early period, and the subject is certainly a national one.
There are also two well-known ballads on the Battle of Agincourt; the one commencing " A council grave our king did hold;" the other " As our king lay musing in his bed," which will be noticed under later dates; and a three-men's song, which was sung by the tanner and his fellows, to amuse the guests, in Heywood's play, King Edward IV., beginning—
" Agincourt! Agincourt! know ye not Agincourt ? ' Where the English slew or hurt All the French foemen ?" <fcc. Although Henry had forbidden the minstrels to celebrate his victory, the order evidently did not proceed from any disregard for the professors of music or of song, for at the Feast of Pentecost, which he celebrated in 1416, having the Emperor and the Duke of Holland as his guests, he ordered rich gowns for sixteen of his minstrels. And having before his death orally granted an annuity of an
* I do not intend to reprint songs or ballads that are contained in Percy's Keliques of Ancient Poetry, without some particular motive, for that delightful hook can he purchased in many shapes and at a small cost. As a general rule, the versions given by Percy are best suited
to music, because more metrical than others, although they may he less exactly and minutely In accordance with old copies, which are often very carelessly printed or transcribed.