Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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190
ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
THE OXFORDSHIRE TRAGEDY.
This is one of the old and simple chaunt-Iike ditties, which seem to have been peculiarly suited to the lengthy narratives of the minstrels ; and I am strongly impressed with a belief that it was one of their tunes. It has very much the same character as Sir Guy, which I met with in another of the ballad operas, and which—the entry at Stationers' Hall proving to be earlier than 1592—may be fairly supposed to be the air u*sed, by the class of minstrel described by Puttenham, in singing the adventures of Sir Guy, at feasts. See page 172.
I have seen no earlier copy of The Oxfordshire Tragedy, than an edition " printed and sold in Bow Church-Yard," in which the name of the tune is not mentioned. The ballad is in four parts, the third and fourth of which, being in a different metre, must have been sung to another air.
" As I walk'd forth to take the air," is the second line of the first part, and a tune is often referred to under that title. As the measures agree, it may be a second name for this air.
In the Douce Collection, 44, is a black-letter ballad of " Cupid's Conquest, or