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CHRISTMAS CAROL AND WASSAIL SONG. 43
The notation of the original is in semibreves, minims, and crotchets, which are.diminished to crotchets, quavers, and semiquavers, as became necessary in modernizing the notation; for the quickest note then in use was the crotchet.11 The Christmas carol partakes so much of the character of sacred music, that it is not surprising it should be in an old scale. If there were not the flat at the signature, which takes off a little of the barbarity, it would be exactly in the eighth Gregorian tone.
There are seven verses to the carol, but as they are not particularly interesting, perhaps the words of the wassail song will be preferred, although we should not now sing of " our blessed lady," as was common in those days. Bring U3 in no brown bread, for that is made of bran, Nor bring us in no white bread, for therein i3 no gain,
But bring us in good ale, and bring us in good ale ; Foi our blessed Lady's sake, bring us in good ale. Bring us in no beef, for there is many bones,
But bring-us in good ale, for that go'th down at once. And bring, &c. Bring us in no bacon, for that is passing fat,
But bring us in good ale, and give us enough of that. And bring, &c. Bring us in no mutton, for that is passing lean, Nor bring us in no tripes, for they be seldom clean. But bring, &c.
Bring us in no eggs, for there are many shells,
But bring us in good ale, and give us nothing else. But bring, &c.
Bring us in no butter, for therein are many hairs,
Nor bring us in no pig's flesh, for that will make us bears. But bring, &c.
Bring us in no puddings, for therein is all God's good, . Nor bring us in no venison, that is not for our blood. But bring, &c.
Bring us in no capon's flesh, for that is often dear, Nor bring us in no duck's flesh, for they slobber in the mere, [mire] But bring us in good ale, and bring us in good ale, For our blessed lady's sake, bring us in good ale.
An inferior copy of this song, without music, is in Harl. M.S., No. 541, from which it has been printed in Ritson's Ancient Songs, p. xxxiv. and xxxv.
With the reign of Edward IV. we may conclude the history of the old wandering minstrel. In 1469, on a complaint that persons had collected money in different parts of the kingdom by assuming the title and livery of the king's minstrels, he granted to Walter Halliday, Marshal, and to seven others whom he names, a charter of incorporation. They were to be governed by a marshal appointed for life, and two wardens to be chosen annually, who were authorized to admit members ; also to examine the pretensions of all who exercised the minstrel profession, and to regulate, govern, and punish them throughout the realm (those of Chester
* After the Percy Society had printed the Songs, I was MS. was entrusted, disappeared, and with him the man j-to have had the opportunity of transcribing all the Music; script, which is, perhaps, already in some library in the but, in the mean time, the bookbinder to whom this rare United States.