Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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282
ENGLISH BONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
Again, on the 1st May, 1667, "To Westminster; on the -way meeting many milkmaids with their garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler before them; and saw pretty Nelly" [Nell Gwynne] "standing at her lodgings' door in Drury Lane, in her smock sleeves and bodice, looking upon one: she seemed a mighty pretty creature."
In a set of prints, called Tempest's Qryes of London, one is called "The Merry Milkmaid, whose proper name was Kate Smith. She is dancing with her milk-pail on her head, decorated with silver cups, tankards, and salvers, borrowed for" the purpose, and tied together with ribbands, and ornamented with flowers. Of late years, the plate, with other decorations, were placed in a pyramidical form, and carried by two chairmen upon a wooden horse. The mikmaids walked before it, and performed the dance without any incumbrance. Strutt mentions having seen "these superfluous ornaments, with much more propriety, substituted by a cow. The animal had her horns gilt, and was nearly covered with ribbands of various colours, formed into bows and roses, and interspersed with green oaken leaves and bunches of flowers." Sports and Pastimes, edited by Hone, p. 358.