Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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122                                   ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
And in the following summer, after the battle of Stoke, " he sent his banner to be offered to Our Lady of Walsingham, where before he made his vows."
" Erasmus' has given a very exact and humorous description of the superstitions practised there in his time. See his account of the Virgo Parathalassia, in his colloquy, intitled Peregrinatio Beligionis ergo. He tells us, the rich offerings in silver, gold, and precious stones, that were shewn him, were incredible; there being scarce a person of any note in England, but what some time or other paid a visit, or sent a present, to Our Lady of Walsingham. At the dissolution of the monas­teries in 1538, this splendid image, with another from Ipswich, was carried to Chelsea, and there burnt in the presence of commissioners; who, we trust, did not burn the jewels and the finery."—Percy's Heliques.
The tune is frequently mentioned by writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In act v. of Fletcher's The Honest Man's Fortune, one of the servants says, "I'll renounce my five mark a year, and all the hidden art I have in carving, to teach young birds to whistle Walsingham." A verse of " As you came from Walsingham," is quoted in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, and in Hans Beer-pot, his invisible Comedy, 4to., 1618.
In The weakest goes to the wall, 1600, the scene being laid in Burgundy, the following lines are given:—
" King Bichard's gone to Walsingham, to the Holy Land, To kill Turk and Saracen, that the truth do withstand;                   
Christ his cross be his good speed, Christ his foes to quell, Send him help in time of need, and to come home well." In the Bodleian Library is a small quarto volume, apparently in the hand-writing of Philip, Earl of Arundel (eldest son of the Duke of Norfolk, who suffered in Elizabeth's time), containing A lament for Walsingham. It is in the ballad style, and the two last stanzas are as follows:—
" Weep, weep, O Walsingham!            ' Sin is where Our Lady, sat,
Whose days are nights;                      Heaven turned is to hell ;
Blessings turn'd to blasphemies'— ■ Satan sits where Our Lord did sway: Holy deeds to despites.                       Walsingham, Oh, farewell I "
In Nashe's Have with you to Saffron-Walden, 1596, sign, l, "As I went to Walsingham" is quoted, which is the first line of the ballad in the Pepysian Collection, vol. i., p. 226, and a verse of which is here printed to the music. •
One of the Psalmes and Songs of Sion, turned into the language, and set to the tunes of a strange land, 1642, is to the tune of Walsingham ; and Osborne, in his Traditional Memoirs on the Beigns ofHlizabeth and James, 1653, speaking of the Earl of Salisbury, says:—
" Many a hornpipe he tuned to his Phillis, And sweetly sung Walsingham to's Amaryllis." In Don Quixote, translated by J. Phillips, 1687, p. 278, he says, " An infinite number of little birds, with painted wings of various colours, hopping from branch to branch, all naturally singing Walsingham, and whistling John, come kiss me now."
Two of the ballads are reprinted in Percy's Beliques of Ancient Poetry; the one beginning, "Gentle herdsman, tell to me;" the other, "As ye came from the