Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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390
ENGLISH BONO AND BALLAD MUSIC,
or spoiled, but relieved and aided them with such goods as he gat from the rich, which he spared not, namely, the rich priests, fat abbots, and the houses of rich carles: and although his theft and rapine was to be contemned, yet the aforesaid author [Major] praiseth him and saith, that among the number of thieves he was worthy the name of the most gentle thief." {Chronicle, p. 84.) As to the zeal with which Robin Hood's day was kept, Bishop Latimer complains, in his sixth sermon before King Edward VI., that having sent overnight to a town, that he would preach there in the morning, when he arrived he found the church door locked, and after waiting half an hour and more for the keys, one of the parish came to him, and said, " Sir, this a busy day with us, we cannot hear you; it is Robin Hood's day:" and he was obliged to give place to Robin Hood.
Although there are so many songs about Robin Hood, I have found but few tunes peculiarly appropriated to them. Many of the ballads were sung to one air; and some to airs which have already been printed in this collection under other names.
Dr. Rimbault, in his Musical Illustrations of Robin Hood, appended to Mr. Gutch's edition of the ballads, has printed the air of Tfie Bailiff's Daughter (ante p. 203), as one of the tunes to which "Robin Hood and the Pinder of Wakefield" was sung. His " Robin Hood and Queen Katherine " is the tune of The Three Havens (ante p. 59). "Robin Hood rescuing the Widow's Son" is another version of Lord Thomas and Fair Bllinor (ante p. 145). " Robin Hood and Allan-a-Dale " is the first half of Drive the cold winter away (ante p. 193). " Robin Hood and the Duke of Lancaster " (a satire upon Sir Robert Walpole) is to the tune of The Abbot of Canterbury (p. 350).
When Ophelia sings the line, " For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy," she probably quotes from a ballad of Robin Hood, now lost; because the tune in one part of William Ballet's Lute Book is entitled Robin Hood is to the greenwood gone, and in another part, Bonny sweet Robin. This has already beea printed among Ophelia's songs (ante p. 233.)
The ballad of The.Friar in the Well, of which I have found the tune, but not the original words (ante p. 273), was, in all probability, a tale of Robin Hood's fat friar. Anthony Munday, in his play, The Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntington, refers to it as one of the merry jests that had formed the subject of some previous play about Robin Hood. At the end of act iv., where Little John expresses his doubts as to the king's approval, because the play contains no "jests of Robin Hood; no merry morrices of Friar Tuck," &c, the friar, personating the author, answersó
" I promised him a play of Robin Hood, As how the friar fell into the well, His honourable life in merry Sherwood. For love of Jenny, that fair bonny belle; His majesty himself survey'd the plot,         How Greenleaf robb'd the shrieve of
And bade me boldly write it, it was good.          Nottingham,
For merry jests they have been shewn And other mirthful matter full of game.
before,                                           " Our play expresses noble Robert's wrong." j
" How Greenleaf robb'd the sheriff of Nottingham," is told in the Lytel Geste of , Robin Hood, where Little John assumes the name.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III