Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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REIGNS-OF JAMES I. AND CHARLES I.
345.
In several of the ballad-operas, the tune, whether under the name of Buff coat, or Excuse me, commences thus (see, for instance, The Generous Free­mason, 1731):—
A BEGGING WE WILL GO.
'. In the Bagford Collection, a copy of this song, in black-letter, is entitled " The Beggars' Chorus in The Jovial Crew, to an excellent new tune." Brome's comedy, The Jovial Oreio, or The Merry Beggars, was acted at the Cockpit in Drury Lane, in 1641, and I suppose the song to have been introduced, as it is not contained in the printed copy of the play. One of the Cavaliers' ditties, "Col. John Okie's Lamentation, or a Bumper cashiered," is to the tune of A begging we will go. This was published on the 28th March, 1660, and a copy may be seen among the King's Pamphlets, Brit. Mus.
A begging we will go is printed, with the music, in book v. of Choice Ayres and Songs to sing to the Theorbo or Bass Viol, fol. 1684; in 180 Loyal Songs, 3rd edit., 1685; in Pills to purge Melancholy; &c. It is sometimes entitled
The Jovial Beggars.
" There was a jovial beggar, He had a wooden leg, Lame from his cradle, And forced for to beg. And a begging we will go, we'll go, we'll go,
I begg'd for my master, And got him store of pelf;
But now, Jove be praised, I'm begging for myself, &c.
In a hollow tree
I live, and pay no rent; Providence provides for me,
And I am well content, &c.
Of all the occupations, A beggar's life's the best;
For whene'er he's weary,
He'll lay him down and rest, &c.
I fear no plots against me,
I live in open cell; Then who would be a king When beggars live so well. And a begging we will go, we'll go, we'll go, And a begging we will go!"
And a begging" we will go!
A bag for his oatmeal,
Another for his salt; And a pair of crutches
To show that he can halt;
And a begging, &c.
A, bag for his wheat,
Another for his rye; A little bottle by his side
To drink when he's a dry, &c.
Seven years I begg'd
For my old master Wild,
He taught me to beg
When I was but a child, &c.