Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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' An extraordinary collection of the political songs and ballads from the commencement of the Long Parliament (Nov., 1640), to the restoration of Charles II., is contained in what are termed the King's Pamphlets, now in the British Museum. These Pamphlets were secretly collected by a bookseller, named George Thomason, and were intended for the use of Charles I. They were pre­sented to the national library by George III., who is said to have purchased them for three or four hundred Pounds, although the original collector refused 4,000/. for them. They consist of about 30,000 pieces uniformly bound in 2,000 volumes, and the day of the month and year in which each was issued are noted upon them. One of the volumes was borrowed by Charles I., while at Hampton Court, and he dropped it in the mud in his flight to the Isle of Wight. The accident is commemorated by a memorandum in the book (vol. 100, small 4to.), and the edges still show the stains of dirt—some to more than an inch in depth.
The collections of songs which were printed at the Restoration, are, as might be supposed, wholly on the side of the King. " Rats rhymed to death; or, The Rump Parliament hang'd up in the Shambles," was one of the first. This was printed in 1660, and in the same year "The Rump; a collection of Songs and Ballads, made upon those who would be a Parliament, and were but the Rump of an House of Commons, five times dissolv'd." This was enlarged in 1662, and printed as " Rump; or an exact collection of the choicest poems and songs relating to the late times, by the most eminent wits from anno 1639 to anno 1661." The last includes all in Mats rhymed to death, except two at the close of the volume. The most voluminous writer of songs on the King's side was Alexander Brome; but by far the most useful and important to the Royal cause was Martin Parker, of ballad fame. His " The King shall enjoy his own again," did more to support the failing spirits of the Cavaliers throughout their trials than the songs of all other writers put together, and contributed in no small degree to the restoration of Charles II. Monk, the general who brought him back, was a mere follower of the times.
Martin Parker is a writer who has certainly been under-valued. Ritson pro­nounces him " a Grub-street scribbler, and great ballad-monger of Charles the First's time," but he did not know that he was the author of the poem, " The Nightingale warbling forth her own disaster; or, the Rape of Philomela,"— of " Robin Conscience,"8—or of this song which he eulogises so highly.
In Vox Borealis, 1641, he is described as "one Parker, the Prelates' Poet, who made many base ballads against the Scots," for which he was " like to have tasted of Justice Long's liberality, and hardly he escaped his Powdering-Tub, which the vulgar people call a prison." In an anti-episcopal pamphlet, called " Laws and Ordinances, forced to be agreed upon by the Pope and his Shavelings for the disposing of his adherents and the Popish Rites he sent into England," he
* Mr. Gutch, in his account of Martin Parker {Robin      the Ashmolean Library, dated 1686, and another in the
Hood, ii. 84), does not mention his Robin Conscience, a      Bodleian, without date); of A Garland of Withered Roses,
copy of which is in the Bodleian Library (1635). In Sam.       1656; of The Poet's Blind-Man's Rough [buff], or Have
Holland's Romancio-Maslix, or a Romance on Romances,      among you, my blind Harpers, 1641; of The King and a
mention is made of "Martin Parker's Heroic Poem called      poor Northern man, 1640 (the story of which seems to have
Valentine and Orson" He was also the author of A true      been taken from an old play) j and of many of the ballads
Tale of Robin Hood, printed for T. Cotes, 1631 (a copy in      in this collection. See Index..

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