Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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330                                  ENGLISH BONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
Sir John Hawkins must have had some reason, which he does not assign, for attributing the composition to Henry Lawes. It is not contained in either of the printed collections of Lawes' songs, nor have I been able to find any copy with his name attached to it. Sir John seems to be mistaken, because Lawes did not enter the Chapel Royal until 1626, and the Curtain Theatre, at which one of the songs to the tune were sung* was in disuse at the commencement of the reign of Charles I. (1625). We must therefore look to an earlier composer.
One of the Addit. MSS., Brit. Mus. (No. 10,444) is a collection of Mask-tunes, and there are several in that collection entitled " Gray's Inn." See Nos. 50, 51, 91, 99, &c. If Nos. 50 and 99 are from the same Mask (which is not improbable), Mad Tom may be the composition of Lawes' master, John Cooper, called "Cuperario" after his visit to Italy. No. 50, the first of the above tunes, is there called " Ouperaree, or Gray's Inn;" No. 51, " Gray's In Anticke Masque;" and No. 99 (the tune in question), '*Gray's Inne Masque."
There is an equal uncertainty about the authorship of the words. In Walton's Angler, 1653, Piscator says, " I'll promise you I'll sing a song that was lately made at my request by Mr. William Basse, one that made the choice songs of The Hunter in his career, and Tom of Bedlam, and many others of note." There are, however, so many Toms of Bedlam, that it is impossible to determine, from this passage, to which of them Isaak Walton refers.
In addition to the broadsides, and a copy in Le Prince d''Amour, 1660, there is in MSS. Harl., No. 7,332, a version in the handwriting of " Fearegod Barebone, of Daventry, in the county of Northampton," who, "beinge at many times idle, and wanting imployment, bestoed his time with his penn and incke wrighting thease sonnets, songes, and epigrames, thinkinge that it weare bettar so to doe for the mendinge of his hand in wrighting, then worse to bestow his time." Master Fearegod Barebone was, no doubt, a puritanical hypocrite; and wrote this excuse about improving his handwriting, to be prepared in case the book should fall into " ungodly hands." No other inference can be drawn from his selection of some of the songs in the manuscript. Mad Tom, however, is not one of those objection≠able ditties, and, as being the oldest copy, I have here followed his manuscript. The tune is from The Dancing Master, and differs somewhat from later versions.
Mad Tom was employed as a ballad tune in Penelope, 1728; and The Bay's Opera, 1730.
Majestically.
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Forth from my sad and darksome cell, Fear and despair pur - sue my 60ul,
From the deep a - byss of hell, Mad Hark, how the angry fu - ries howl, Plu-
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» Mr. Payne Collier, in a note to Hebe^s Catalogue, Part iv., p. 92, says that this song was sung at the Curtain Theatre, about 1CI0. In Choice Jyrts, 2nd edition, fol.,
1675, the composer's name is not given, and it is printed without any base.