Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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THE COMMONWEALTH.                                             . 411
it the relaxation of his leisure hours, and was an excellent amateur composer. In his time, the habit of singing part-music after meals was general, especially after supper, the hour of which corresponded with that of our present dinner. Although now more common in Germany than in England, it is a practice that might be revived with great advantage, for, while assisting digestion, there is no ;imc at which music is more thoroughly enjoyable to those who can take a part.
It was said by A [Han] C[unningham], in the Penny Magazine (No. 391, May 6, 1838), that the ballads "were on the side of the parliament in the struggle with Charles." . I think this can only apply to the early part of the contest, for after the fall of Archbishop Laud, I doubt whether any more were written on their side. Laud had rendered himself extremely unpopular by his intemperate zeal, and by his rigorous prosecutions of all separatists, in the (Star Chamber—imprisoning some, and cutting off the ears of others. Moreover, ihere was a general impression that he was endeavouring to lead the country back to Popery. It is said of one of the daughters of William, Earl of Devonshire, that having turned Catholic, she was questioned by Laud as to the motives of her conversion. She replied that her principal reason was a dislike to travel in a crowd. The meaning being obscure, the Archbishop asked her what she meant. " I perceive," said she, " your Grace and many others are making haste to Rome, and therefore, to prevent being crowded, I have gone before you." It is an undoubted fact that the Pope sent him a serious offer of a Cardinal's hat; indeed, Laud tells us as much in his diary. The dissolution of the Parliament, in 1640, vras generally attributed to his instigation; and two thousand persons entered ^!t. Paul's at one time, exclaiming, " No Bishop! No high Commission!" The most scurrilous libels were affixed to the walls in every quarter of the town; ballads, of which he was the subject, wore composed and sung in the streets; and pictures, in which he was exhibited in the most undignified postures, were pub­licly displayed. The ale-houses teemed with songs in which he was held up to derision. When this was told to the Archbishop, " His lot," he said, " was not •worse than that of David;" at the same time quoting the 69th Psalm, "They that sat in the gate spake against me, and I was the song of the drunkards."
It is reported of Archibald Armstrong, Charles the First's jester or fool, that ha once asked permission of the King to say grace when Laud was present; which being granted, he said, " All praise to the Lord, and little laud to the devil." In one of the many lampoons of the time, he is styled—
' One of Rome's calves, far better fed than taught.' "
There are still many ballads extant concerning Archbishop Laud. Besides those which are to be found among the King's Pamphlets in the British Museum, a collection, partly in print and partly in manuscript, was a few years ago in the
no< so far quit his own generous and ingenious inclina-      songs of his composition, after the way of these times tiois as to make himself wholly a slaTe to the world ; for      (three or four of which aTe still to be seen in old Wilby's he sometimes found vacant hours for the study (which      set of Ayres, besides some compositions of his in Ravens-he made his recreation) of the noble science of music, in      croft's Psalms), he gained the reputation of a considerable wl ich he advanced to that perfection, that, as I have been      master in this most charming of all the liberal sciences." toll, and as I take it, by our author himself, he composed      One of the madrigals in The Triumphs of Oriana, 1601, an In Nomine of forty parts, for which he was rewarded      and several in Sir Christopher Leighton's Tears and wii h a gold medal and chain by a Polish Prince (Aubrey      Lamentations of a Sorrowful Soule, were also composed Fa} 3, by the Landgrave of Hesse), to whom lie presented it,      by Milton, who bore the same Christian name as his cele-Ho .vever, this is a truth not to be denied, that for several      brated son.

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