Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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144                                  ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
WHO LIST TO LEAD A SOLDIER'S LIFE. This tune is in The Dancing Master, from 1650 to 1725, called
A soldier's
life," or " Who list to lead a soldier's life." There were, evidently, two tunes under the same name (one of -which I have not discovered), because some of the ballads could not be sung to this air. In Peele's Edward I., 1593, we find, "Enter a harper and sing, to the tune of Who list to lead a soldier's life, the following:— " Go to, go to, you Britons all,
And play the men both great and small," &c.; and in Deloney's Strange Histories, 1607—
" When Ieabell, fair England's queen, In -woeful wars had victorious been," &c ; neither of which could be sung to this air, but " A Song of an English Knight, that married the Royal Princess, Lady Mary, sister to Henry "Vlll., which Knight was afterwards made Duke of Suffolk;" beginning—
"Eighth Henry ruling in this land, He had a sister fair;" and "A Song- of the Life and Death of King Richard III., who, after many murders by him committed, &c, was slain at the battle of Bosworth, by Henry "YTL, King of England;" beginning—
" In ^England once there reigned a king, A tyrant fierce and fell," a as well as several others, are exactly fitted to the tune.
Ophelia's Song, " Good morrow, 'tis St. Valentine's day," and the traditional air to " Lord Thomas and Eair Ellinor," are only different versions of this.
In the Pepys Collection, vol i., is a black-letter ballad of " The joyful peace concluded between the King of Denmark and the King of Sweden, by the means of our most worthy sovereign James," &c, to the tune of "Who list to lead a soldier's life;" dated 1613.
In The Miseries of inforced Marriage (Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. v.), the song, " Who list to have a lubberly load," was, perhaps, a parody on "Who list to lead a soldier's life," the words of which I have not been successful in finding.
* These two ballads have been reprinted by Evans in Old Ballads, vol.iil., 30 and 84 (1810); but he has omitted
the names of (he tunes to which they were to be sung, not pnly in these, but in numberless other instances.