Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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154                                   ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
entertainment is spoken of: and, " when the masque was ended, and time had brought in the supper, the cushion led the dance out of the parlour into the hall." Selden, speaking of Trenchmore and The Cushion Dance in Queen Elizabeth's time, says, " Then all the company dances, lord and groom, lady and kitchen-maid, no distinction."—(See ante p. 82.) In The Dancing Master of 1686, and later editions, the figure is thus described:—
" This dance is begun hy a single person (either man or woman), who, taking a cushion in hand, dances about the room, and at the end of the tune, stops and sings, ' This dance it will no further go." The musician answers, ' I pray you, good Sir, why say you so ?'—Man. ' Because Joan Sanderson will not come too.'—Musician. ' She must come too, and she shall come too, and she must come whether she will or no.' Then he lays down the cushion before the woman, on which she kneels, and he kisses her, singing ' Welcome, Joan Sanderson, welcome, welcome.' Then she rises, takes up the cushion, and both dance, singing, 'Prinkum-prankum is a fine dance, and shall we go dance it once again, once again, and once again, and shall we go dance it once again.' Then making a stop, the woman sings as before, ' This dance it will no further go.'—Musician. ' I pray you, madam, why say you so?'— Woman. ' Because John Sanderson will not come too.'—Musician. 'He must come too, and he shall come too, and he must come whether he will or no.' And so she lays down the cushion before a man, who kneeling upon it, salutes her; she singing, 'Welcome, John Sanderson, welcome, welcome.' Then he taking up the cushion, they take hands, and dance round, singing as before. And thus they do, till the whole com­pany are taken into the ring; and if there is company enough, make a little ring in its middle, and within that ring, set a chair, and lay the cushion in it, and the first man set in it. Then the cushion is laid before the first man, the woman singing, ' This dance it will no further go;' and as before, only instead of ' Come too,' they sing, ' Go fro;' and instead of ' Welcome, John Sanderson,' they sing,' Farewell, John Sanderson, farewell, farewell;' and so they go out one by one as they came in. Note.—The women are hissed by all the men in the ring at their corning and going out) and lilie-rvise the men by all the women."
This agreeable pastime tended, without doubt, to popularize the dance.
One of the engravings in Johannis de Brunes Mmblemata (4to., Amsterdam, 1624, and 1661) seems to represent the Cushion Dance. The company being seated round the room, one of the gentlemen, hat in hand, and with a cushion held over the left shoulder, bows to a lady, and seems about to lay the cushion at her feet.
In 1737, the Rev. Mr. Henley, or " Orator Henley," as he called himself, advertised in the London Daily Post that he would deliver an oration on the subject of the Cushion Dance.""*
A political parody is to be found in Poems on Affairs of State, from 1640 to 1704, called, " The Cushion Dance at Whitehall, by way of Masquerade. To the tunc of Joan Sanderson."
Enter Godfrey Aldwm-th, followed by the King and Duke. Xing. " The trick of trimming is a fine trick,
And shall we go try it once again ? Duke. " The plot it will no further go. King. " I pray thee, wise brother, why say you so," &c.