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.                               321
horns of sufficient importance, as a source of revenue, to affix an export duty of four shillings per dozen upon them.*
"A Songe of the huntinge and killinge of the Hare" was entered on the registers of the Stationers' Company, to Richard Jones, on June 1,1577, but the entry contains no clue to the words, or to the air.
The tune of the present song may be traced back to the reign of James I.; but, both in his reign, and in that of his predecessor, hunting was so favorite a sport, and hunting songs so generally popular, that the introduction of either on the stage was thought a good means of assisting the success of a play.
Wood tells us that in Richard Edwardes' comedy of Palwmon and Arcyte (which was performed before Queen Elizabeth, in Christ Church Hall, Oxford, on the 2nd and 3rd September, 1566) " A cry of hounds was acted in the quadrant upon the train of a fox, in the hunting of Theseus; with which the young scholars, who stood in the remoter part of the stage and windows, were so much taken and surprised, supposing it to be real, that they cried out, ' There, there —he's caught, he's caught!' All which the Queen, merrily beholding, said, ' Oh; excellent! These boys, in very truth, are ready to leap out of the windows to follow the hounds.'"
James was passionately fond of hunting; and Anthony Munday> in his play, -• The Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntington, thus deprecates his displeasure and that of the audience for not having introduced hunting songs, or resorted to the other usual expedients to ensure applause. In act iv., sc. 2, Little John says— " Methinks I see no jests of Robin Hood ; No merry Morrices of Friar Tuck ; No pleasant skippings up and down the wood; No hunting songs; no coursing of the buck. Pray God this play of ours may have good luck, And the King's Majesty mislike it not." I have printed one song on hare-hunting, of James' reign (Master Basse his Career e, or The New Hunting of the Hare), at p. 256. Another song, entitled " The Hunting of the Hare, with her last will and testament, As it wa3 performed on Bamstead Downs, By coney-catchers and their hounds," was printed by Coles, Vere, and Wright, and will be found in Anthony a Wood's Collection. It commences thus—
" Of all delights that earth doth yield, Give me a pack of hounds in field, Whose echo Bliall, throughout the sky, Make Jove admire our harmony, And wish that he a mortal were, To share the pastime we have hero." No tune is indicated in the copy, and it could not have been sung to this air.
' This will be found In "The Rates of the Custome      "Clarycordes, the payre, 2s.; Harpe Strynges, the boxe,
House, both inwarde and outwarde, very necessarye       10s.; Lute Strynges, called Mvnikins, the groce, 22d.;
for all Merchantes to knowe. Imprinted at London, by      Orgons, the payre, v.1 sint in valore; Wyei for Clary-
me, Rycharde Kele, dwellynge at the longe shoppe In the      cordes, the pound, 4d.; Virginales, the payre, Ss. 4d.j
Poultrye, under Saynt Myldreds Churche." 1545. Among      Whisteling Bclloives, the groc, 6s. the import duties relating to music, will be found—
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