Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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A Dragon came out of his den,
Had slain, God knows how many men :
When he espied Sir Eglamore,
Oh! if you had but heard him roar!
Then the trees began to shake, The Knight did tremble, horse did quake; The birds betake them all to peeping, It would have made you fall a weeping.
But now it is vain to fear,
For it must be fight dog, fight bear;
To it they go, and fiercely fight
A live-long day, from morn till night.
The Dragon had a plaguey hide, And could the sharpest steel abide; No sword would enter him with cuts, Which vext the Knight unto the guts;
But, as in cholcr he did burn,
He watched the Dragon a good turn,
And as a yawning he did fall,
He thrust the sword in, hilt and all.
Then like a coward he [did] fly Unto his den that was hard by, And there he lay all night and roar'd; The Knight was sorry for his sword ;
But riding thence, said, I forsake it, He that will fetch it, let him take it."
Instead of the two last lines, in many of the copies, are the three following stanzas:—
The sword, that was a right good blade,
As ever Turk or Spaniard made,
I, for my part, do forsake it,
And he that will fetch it, let him take it.
When all was done, to the alehouse he went, And by and by his two-pence he spent;
For he was so hot with tugging with the
Dragon,                                           [flagon,
That nothing would quench him but a whole
Now God preserve our King and Queen, And eke in London may be seen As many knights, and as many more, And all so good as Sir Eglamore.
This tune first appears in The Dancing Master, in the seventh edition, printed in 1686. It is there entitled The Gobbler's Jigg. More than sixty years before it had been published in Holland, as an English song-tune, in Bellerophon, 1622; and in Nederlandische Gredenck-Clanck, 1626. In the index to the latter, among the "Engelsche Stemmen," it is entitled " Cobbeler, of: Het Engelsch Lapper-ken." All the English airs in these Dutch books have Dutch words adapted to them; but as I do not know the English words which belong to this, I have adapted an appropriate song from The Shoemaker's Holiday, 1600.
In the Pepys Collection of Ballads, vol. i., No. 227, is one entitled " Round, boyes, indeed! or The Shoomaker's Holy-day:
Being a very pleasant new ditty, To fit both country, towne, and cittie, &c. To a pleasant new tune." It is signed L.P. (Laurence Price?), and printed for J. Wright, who printed about 1620. This may prove to be the ballad. I noted that it was in eighteen stanzas, but omitted to copy it.
Shoemakers called their trade " the gentle craft," from a tradition that King Edward IV., in one of his disguises, once drank with a party of shoemakers, and-pledged them. The story is alluded to in the old play, George a Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield (1599), when Jenkinsays—
" Marry, beeause you have drank with the King, And the King hath so graciously pledg'd you, You shall no more be called shoemakers; But you and yours, to the world's end, Shall be called the trade of the gentle graft."

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III