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 CHAELES I.                                379
James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, also wrote "Lines" to this tune, retaining a part of the first line, and the burden of each verse, " Til never love thee more." 'It is " An Address to his Mistress," and commences— " My dear and only love, 1 pray This noble world of thee, &c.
Like "My dear and only love, take heed" it consists of five stanzas; and must have been written after the establishment of the Committees and the Synod of Divines at Westminster (1643), because he refers to both in the song.
Watson in his Collection of Scotch Poems, part iii., 1711, printed one of the extended versions of "My dear and only love, take heed" as a "second part" to the Marquis of Montrose's song; but it cannot have been written by him, as he was only born in 1612. Neither Ritson, Robert Chambers, nor Peter Cunningham, have followed this error; but it has been reproduced in Memoirs of Montrose, Edinburgh, 1819.
It was, no doubt, the Marquis of Montrose's song that made the tune popular in Scotland. It is found, under the name of Montrose Lyns, in a manuscript of lyra-viol music, dated 1695, recently in the possession of Mr. A. Blaikie. The tune has, therefore, been included in collections of Scottish music; but " My dear and only love, take heed" continued to be the popular song in England, and from that it derives its name. In English ballads it is called "A rare Northern tune,"" and I have never yet found that term applied to a Scotch air. Besides Gamble's manuscript, which contains both the words and air, the words will be found in the first and second editions of Wit and Drollery, 1656 and 1661, (there entitled "A Song") ; in Pills to purge Melancholy, 1700,1707, and 1719. The tune was first added to The Dancing Master in 1686, and is contained in every subsequent edition, in a form more appropriate to dancing than the earlier copy.
Some of the ballads are of a later date than the Marquis of Montrose's song, such as "Teach me, Belissa, what to do:" to the tune of "My dear and only love, take heed," in Folly in print, 1667; "A Dialogue between Tom and Dick," in Bats rhimed to death, 1660; " The Swimming Lady," in the Bagford, others in Roxburghe and Pepys Collections; but I have already cited enough to prove that it was a very popular air, and popular before the Marquis of Montrose's song can have been written.              t
A copy of the ballad, consisting of four verses in the first, and five in the
» In ballad-phrase, the terms " Northern " and " North-country" were often .applied to places within a hundred miles of London. Percy describes the old ballad of Chevy Chacc as written in " the coarsest and broadest Northern dialect," although Richard Sheale, the author of that ver­sion, was a minstrel residing in Tamworth, and in the service of the Earl of Derby. Puttenham thus notices the difference of speech prevailing in his time beyond tho Trent:—"Our [writer] therefore at these days shall not follow Piers Plowman, nor Gower, nor Lydgate, nor yet Chaucer, for their language is now out of use with-us: neither shall he take the terms of North-men, such as they use in dayly talke (whether they he noble men or gentle-
men, or of their best clarkes, all is a matter), nor in effect any speach used beyond the river of Trent: though no man can deny but theirs is the purer English Saxon at this day, yet it is not so courtly nor so current as our Southeme English is, no more is the far Western man's apeach i ye shall therefore take the usuall speach of the Court, and that of London and the shires lying about London, within sixty miles, and not much above." (Arte of English PoesieJ Many of the characters in plays of ths> seventeenth century, such as Brome's Northern Last, speak in a dialect which might often pass for Scotch with those who are unacquainted with the language of the time.