Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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REIGN OF ELIZABETH.                                          163
also Lodge's Rosalind, 1590; Lingua, 1607; Every Woman in her humour, 1609; The Widow's Tears, 1612; Henry Hutton's Follie's Anatomie, 1619; Tlie two merry Milkmaids, 1620; Vox Borealis, 1641; The Hump, or Mirror of the Times, 1660; Tom's Essence, 1677, &c. In Forbes' Cantus, 1682, is a parody on Fortune my foe, beginning, Satan my foe, full of iniquity, with which the tune is there printed.
One reason for the great popularity of this air is that " the metrical lamenta­tions of extraordinary criminals have been usually chanted to it for upwards of these two hundred years." Rowley alludes to this in his Noble Soldier, 1634: " The King ! shall I be bitter 'gainst the King ? I shall have scurvy ballads made of me, Sung to the hanging tune ! " And in " The penitent Traytor: the humble petition of a Devonshire gentleman, who was condemned for treason, and executed for the same, anno 1641," the last verse but two runs thus :
" How could I bless thee, couldst thou take away My life and infamy both in one day ? But this in ballads will survive I know, Sung to that preaching tune, Fortune my Joe." The last is from " Loyal Songs written against the Rump Parliament."
Deloney's ballad, " The Death of King John," in his Strange Histories, 1607; and " The most cruel murder of Edward V., and his brother the Duke of York, in the Tower, by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester" (reprinted in Evans' Old Ballads, iii. 13, ed. 1810), are to this tune; but ballads of this description which were sung to it are too many for enumeration. In the first volume of the Rox-burghe Collection, at pages 136,182, 376, 392, 486, 487, 488, and 490, are ballads to the tune of Fortune, and all about murders, last dying speeches, or some heavy misfortunes.
In the Pepys' Collection, i. 68, is a ballad of " The lamentable burning of the city of Cork, by the lightning which happened the last day of May, 1622, after the prodigious battle of the stares" (i.e., starlings), "which fought most strangely over and near the city the 12th and 14th May, 1621."
Two other ballads require notice, because the tune is often referred to under their names, Br. Faustus, and Aim not too high. The first, according to the title of the ballad, is " The Judgment of God shewed upon Dr. John Faustus: tune, Fortune my foe." A copy is in the Bagford Collection.1 It is illustrated by two woodcuts at the top : one representing Dr. Faustus signing the contract with the devil; and the other shewing him standing in a magic circle, with a wand in his left hand, and a sword with flame running up it, in his right: a little devil seated on his right arm. Richard Jones had a licence to print the ballad "of the ' life and deathe of Dr. Faustus, the great cungerer," on the 28th Feb., 1588-9.
In the Roxburghe Collection, i. 434, is "Youth's warning piece," &c, " to the tune of Br. Faustus;" printed for A. K, 1636. And in Dr. Wild's Iter Boreale, 1671, " The recantation of a penitent Proteus," &c, to the tune of Br. Faustus.
■ It is also printed in my National English Airs, quarto, part i., 1838.