Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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70
ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
This tune, which Sir John Hawkins thought to be " the oldest country-dance tune now extant" (an opinion to which I do not subscribe), is to be found in Queen Elizabeth's and Lady Neville's Virginal Books, in Music's Handmaid, 1678 &c. It is difficult to say from whom it derived its name. It might be from " Sir Thomas Sellynger," who was buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, before the year 1475, as appears by a brass plate there; or from Sir Antony St. Leger, whom Henry VIII. appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1540.
In Bacchus' Bountie (4to., 1593), we find this passage: "While thus they tippled, the fiddler he fiddled, and the pots danced for joy the old hop-about commonly called Sellengar's Round." In Middleton's Father Hubburd's Tales (1604):—"Do but imagine now what a sad Christmas we all kept in the country, without either carols, wassail bowls, dancing of Sellenger's Bound in moonshine nights about Maypoles, shoeing the mare, hoodman-blind, hot cockles, or any of our Christmas gambols,—no, not not so much as choosing king and queen on Twelfth Night!" In Ileywood's Fair Maid of the West, part ii.:—" They have so tired me with their moriscoes [morris dances], and I have so tickled them with our country dances, Sellenger's Bound and Tom Tiler. We have so fiddled it!"
A curious reason for the second name to this tune is given in the- comedy of Lingua, 1607. Anamnestes: " By the same token the first tune the planets played; I remember Venus, the treble, ran sweet division upon Saturn, the base. The first tune they played was Sellenger's Bound, in memory whereof, ever since, it hath been called The Beginning of the World." On this, Common Sense asks: "How comes it we hear it not now? and Memory, another of the characters, says : " Our ears are so well acquainted with the sound, that we never mark it." In Shirley's Lady of Pleasure, Lady Bornwell says that, " to hear a fellow make himself merry and his horse with whistling Sellenger's Bound, and to observe with what solemnity they keep their wakes, moriscoes, and Whitsun-ales, are the only amusements of the country."
It is mentioned as The Beginning of the World by Deloney in his history of Jack of Newbury, and the times to which he refers are those of Henry VHI.; but, so great was its popularity, that it i3 mentioned three or four times by Heywood; also by Ben Johson, by Taylor the water-poet, by Fletcher, Shirley, Brome,Farquhar, Wycherley, Morley (1597), Clieveland (1677),Marmion (1641); by the author of The Beturn from Parnassus, and by many other writers.
There is a wood-cut of a number of young men and women dancing Sellenger's Bound, with hands joined, round a Maypole, on the title page of a black letter garland, called "The new Crown Garland of princely pastime and mirth," printed by J. Back, on London Bridge. In the centre are' two musicians, the one playing the fiddle, the other the pipe, with the inscription, "Hey for Sellenger's Round!" above them.
As the dance was so extremely popular, I shall, in this instance, give the figure from the The Dancing Master of 1670, where it is described as a round dance " for as many as will."
" Take hands, and go round twice: back again. All set and turn sides : that