Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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REIGNS OF JAMES I. AND CHARLES I.                               315
WHAT CARE I HOW FAIR SHE BE?
A copy of this song is in the Pepys Collection, i. 230, entitled "A new song of a young man's opinion of the difference between good and bad women. To a ■ pleasant new tune:' (Printed at London for W. I.) It is also in the second part of The Q-olden Garland of Princely Delights, third edition, 1620, entitled " The -Shepherd's Resolution. To the tune of The Young Man's Opinion." As the name of the tune is here derived from the title of the ballad, it must have been printed in ballad form before 1620, when it was published among The Workes of Master Gfeorge Wither.
The tune is in Heber's Manuscript (described at p. 204), but, exeept for the popularity of the words, it would scarcely be worth preserving. They were after­wards reset by Mr. King, and are printed to his tune in Pills to purge Melancholy.
The first line of the copy in the Pcpys Collection (unlike that in The Golden Garland) is, " Shall I wrestling in dispaire." In the same volume are the following:—
Page 200.—" The unfortunate Gallant gull'd at London. To the tune, of Shall Iwrastle in despair." (Printed for T. L.) Beginning— " From Cornwall Mount to London fair."
Page 316.—" This maid would give tenne shillings for a kisse. To the tune of Shall I wrassle in despair." (Printed at London by I. White.) Beginning— " You young men all, take pity on me."
Page 236.—" Jone is as good as my lady. To the tune of What care I How fair she be ?" (Printed at London for A. Mplbourn].) Beginning— " Shall I here rehearse the story."
The following (which has been attributed, upon insufficient evidence, to Sir Walter Raleigh) is in the same metre, and has the same burden as George Wither's song:—
Shall I, like an hermit, dwell On a rock or in a cell ? Calling home the smallest part That is missing of my heart, To bestow it where I may Meet a rival every day ?
If she undervalues me,
What care I how fair she be
Were her tresses angol-gold ;
If a stranger may be hold,
Unrebuked, unafraid,
To convert them to a braid,
And, with little more ado,
Work them into bracelets too;
Were her hands as rich a prize As her hairs or precious eyes; If she lay them out to take Kisses, for good manners sake; And let every lover skip From her hand unto her lip; If she seem not chaste to me, What care 1 how chaste she be.
No, she must be perfect snow, In effect as well as show, Warming but as snow-balls do, Not, like fire, by burning too; But when she by chance hath got To her heart a second lot;
If the mine he grown so free,                   Then, if others share with me,
What care I how rich it he.                      Farewell her, whate'er she be.