Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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"Pastime with good Company."
The words and music of this song are preserved in a manuscript of the time of Henry VIII., formerly in Ritson's possession, and now in the British Museum (Add. MSS., 5665); in which it is entitled The King's Ballad. Ritson mentions it in a note to his Historical Essay on Scotish Song, and Stafford Smith printed it in his Musica Antigua in score for three men's voices. It is the first of those mentioned in "Wedderburn's Complaint of Scotland, which was published in 1549 : " Now I will rehearse some of the sweet songs that I heard among them (the shepherds) as after follows : in the first Pastance ivith good Company" &c. The tune is also to be found arranged for the lute (without words) in the volume among the king's MSS. before cited (Append. 58), of which "Dominus Johannes Bray " was at one time the possessor. This may be considered as another proof of its former popularity.
Youth will needs have dalliance, Of good or ill some pastance ; Company me thinketh the hest All thoughts and fantasies to digest,
For idleness
Is chief mistress
Of vices all : Then who can say But pass the day
Is best of all ?
Company with honesty
Is virtue,—and vice to flee :
Company is good or ill,
Biit ev'ry man hath his free will.
The hest I sue,
The worst eschew:
My mind shall be Virtue to use: Vice to refuse
I shall use me.

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