Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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62                                     ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
The religious parody of The Sunt is up, which was written by John Thome, has been printed by Mr. Halliwell, at the end of the moral play of Wit and Science, together with other curious songs from the same manuscript (Addit. MS., No. 15,233, Brit. Mus.) There are seventeen verses; the first is as follows :—
" The hunt ys up, the hunt ys up, Loe ! it is allmost daye ; For Christ our Kyng is cum a huntyng, And browght his deare to staye," &c.
but a more lively performance is contained in " Ane compendious booke of Godly and Spirituall Songs . . . with sundrie . . . ballates changed out of prophaine Sanges," &c, printed by Andro Hart in Edinburgh in 1621. The writer is very bitter against the Pope, who, he says, never ceased, " under dispence, to get our pence," and who sold "remission of sins in auld sheep skins;".and compares him to the fox of the hunt. The original edition of that book was printed in 1590.
In Queen Elizabeth's and Lady Neville's Virginal Books, is a piece, with twelve variations, by Byrde, called " The Hunt is up," which is also called " Pescod Time," in another part of the former book. It bears no appearance of ever having been intended for words; certainly the songs in question could not be sung to it.
A tune called The Queene's Majesties new Sunt is up, is mentioned in Anthony Munday's Banquet of daintye conceits, 1588 ; and the ditty he gives, to be sung to it, called " "Women are strongest, but truth overcometh all things," is in the same measure as the above, but I have not found any copy of the tune under that name. In 1565, William Pickering paid Ad. for a license to print " a ballett intituled The Hunte ys up," &c. (see Registers of Stationers' Company, p. 129).
"Yonder comes a Courteous Knight."
This is one of King Henry's Mirth or Freemen's Songs, in Deuteromelia, 1609, and is to be found as a ballad in Wit and Mirth, or Pills to purge Melancholy, vol. i. 1698 and 1707, or in vol. iii. of the edition of 1719. The story seems to have been particularly popular, as there are three ballads of later date upon the same subject. It is of a young lady who, being alone and unprotected, finds the too urgent addresses of a knight likely to prove troublesome ;• and, to escape from that position, pretends to yield to him, and persuades him to escort her home; but—
" When she came to her father's hall, It was well walled round about, She yode in at the wicket gate, And shut the four-ear'd fool without.
Then she sung down, a-down," &c.
The knight, regretting the lost opportunity; expresses himself in very uncourteous terms on the deceit of women. The ballad is printed in Ritson's Ancient Songs.