Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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

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362                                   ENGLISH BONG AND BALLAD MUSIC. :
GATHER YOUR ROSEBUDS WHILE YOU MAY.
This song is in Playford's Ayres and Dialogues, 1659, p. 101; in Playford's Introduction to Music, third edit., 1660; in Munich's Delight on the Oilkren, 1666; and in The Musical Companion, 1667. The music is the composition of William Lawes; the poetry by Herrick. It became popular in ballad-form, and is in the list of those printed by W. Thackeray, at the Angel in Duck Lane, as well as in Merry Drollery Complete, 1670. It has been reprinted (from a defective copy) in Evans' Old Ballads, iii. 287, 1810. Herrick addresses it " To the Virgins, to make much of time." Sesperides, i. 110,1846.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he is getting, The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse and worst Time3 still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, hut use your time, And, while ye may, go marry;
For having once hut lost your prime, You may for ever tarry.
THREE MERRY BOYS ARE WE. -
This is properly a round, and composed by William Lawes, who was appointed Gentleman of the Chapel Koyal in 1602. He became afterwards one of Charles the First's Chamber Musicians, and was killed fighting for his cause in 1645.'
It is to be found in Hilton's Catch that catch can, 1652 ; in Playford's Musical Companion; in Musick's Delight on the Cithren; &c. The words have been adduced by Sir John Hawkins to illustrate the Three merry men are ive quoted by Shakespeare. See note to Twelfth Night, act ii., sc. 3.
In Merry Drollery Complete, 1670, is a parody on this, entitled " The Cam­bridge Droll"—
" The 'proctors are two and no more,        I wish they were more for me :
Then hang them, that makes them three ; For three merry boys, and three merry boys,
The taverns are but four,                         And three merry boys are we."