Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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356                                  ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
I HAVE BUT A MAKK A YEAE.
This tune is to be found in Pills to purge Melancholy, ii. 116,1700 and 1707; or iv. 116, 1719. The ballad is by Martin Parker, and a copy is contained in the Roxburghe Collection, i. 122. In the preface to the Pills, Playford tells us that the words of the songs " which are old have their rust generally filed from them, which cannot but make them very agreeable." This is one that has undergone the process of " filing; " it is abbreviated, but certainly not improved, by the operation. The copy in the Roxburghe Collection is entitled " A fair portion for a fair Maid; or—
The thrifty maid of Worcestershire,              This mark was her old mother's gift,
Who lives at London for a mark a year; She teaches all maids how to thrift. To the tune of Qrammercy, Penny." (The first stanza is here printed with the music.) Qrammercy (or Q-od-a-mercy), Penny, derives its name from the burden of another ballad, also in the Roxburghe Collection (i. 400), entitled "There's nothing to be had without money; or—
He that brings money in his hand,             His fortune is a great deal worse;
Is sure to speed by sea and land;               Then happy are they that always have
But he that hath no coin in's purse,            A penny in purse, their credit to save.
To a new Northern time, or The mother beguiVd the daughter." It commences thus: " You gallants and you swagg'ring blades, I always lov'd to wear good clothes, Give ear unto my ditty;                          And ever scorned to take blows;
I am a boon-companion known                   I am belov'd of all me knows,
In country, town, and city;                         But God-a-mercy penny."
This was "printed at London for H[enry] G[osson]." Six stanzas in the first, and eight in the second part.
Another ballad, from the same press, is " The Praise of Nothing : to the tune of Though I have but a marke a yeare, &c." A copy in the Roxburghe Collection, i. 328, and reprinted in Payne Collier's Roxburghe Ballads, p. 147. -The following lines are added to the title of the ballad:—
"Though some do wonder why I write the praise Of Nothing in these lamentable days, When they have read, and will my counsel take, I hope of Nothing they will Something make 1" The above contains much excellent advice.
Having traced the tune from I have but a mark a year to Qod-a-mercy, Penny, and from the latter to " a new Northern tune, or The mother beguiVd the daughter" the following ballads may also be referred to it:—
Roxburghe, i. 238—" The merry careless lover: Or a pleasant new ditty, called I love a lass since yesterday, and yet I cannot get her. To the tune of The mother beguilde the daughter."
" Oft have I heard of many men                      I have lov'd a lass since yesterday,
Whom love hath sore tormented,                   And yet I cannot get her.
With grief of heart, and bitter smart,             But let her choose—if she refuse,
And minds much discontented;                     And go to take another,
Such, love to me shall never be,                     I will not grieve, but still will be
Distasteful, grievous, bitter!                           Tile merry careless lover," &c