Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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ILLUSTRATING SHAKESPEARE.                                         219
" Cambridge is a merry town, And Oxford is another, The King was welcome to the one, And fared well at the other," &c.
See Hawkins' Ignoramus, xxxvi. A second with the burden—
" London is a fine town, Yet I their cases pity; The Mayor and some few Aldermen Have clean undone the city," ,-will be found in the King's Pamphlets, British Museum (fol. broadsides, vol. v.). It begins, " Why kept your train-bands such a stir," and is dated Aug. 13,1647. (Reprinted in Wright's Political Ballads, for the Percy Society.) In Le Prince d'Amour, 12m., 1660, is a third, commencing thus:— " London is a fine town, and a brave city, Governed with scarlet gowns ; give ear nnto my ditty : And there is a Mayor, which Mayor he is a Lord, That governeth the city by righteous record. Upon Simon and Jude's day their sails then up they hoist, And then he goes to Westminster with all the galley foist. London is a fine town," &c. A fourth song beginning, " Oh ! London is a fine town," will be found in Pills to purge Melancholy, 1707, ii. 40, or 1719, iv. 40; and in the same volume another to the tune, beginning—
" As I came from Tottingham,                    Her journey was to London
Upon a market day,                                 With buttermilk and whey,
There I met a bonny lass                         To come down, a down,
Clothed all in gray.                                  To come down, down, a down-a."
The burden to this song suggests the possibility of its being the tune of a snatch sung by Ophelia in Samlet
" You must sing down, a down, An you call him a down-a." One of D'Urfey's " Scotch" Songs, called Tlie Q-oivlin, in his play of Trich for TricJc, was also sung to this tune.
In The Dancing Master, 1665 and after, it is called Walton Town's Mid; and in the second part of Robin Q-oodfellow, 1628, there is a song " to the tune of Walton Town's Mid" beginning—
" It was a country lad, That fashions strange would see," &c. It is reprinted in Evans' Old Ballads, 1810, i. 200. Another entitled— "The common cries of London town, Some go up street, some go down," is to the tune of Watton Townes Mid, black-letter, 1662.
Many others will be found to those tunes, under their various names. The following is a verso from the ballad quoted in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. It consists of eighteen stanzas, each of eight lines, and a ditty of four (" Give me my yellow hose again," &c). See Evans' Old Ballads.