Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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THE COMMONWEALTH.                                                455
An ancient suitor hither came,                           But to her mother went this maid,
His head was almost grey ;                                And told her presently,
Though he was old, and she was young,           That she a husband needs must have,
She would no longer stay ;                                 And thus began to cry :
" Oh ! oh ! oh ! for a husband," &c.
The maiden fulfils the old adage of " marrying in haste and repenting at leisure," and, in the third and fourth stanzas, the burden of her song changes to—•
" Oh ! oh ! oh ! with a husband                            Out upon a husband, such a husband,
What a life lead I!                                            A husband, fie, fie, fie I"
This tune is found in two forms, the first as An old woman clothed in grey, the second, as Let Oliver now be forgotten. The difference in the music has, no doubt, arisen from the different metres of the words adapted to it.
In The Beggars' Opera, 1728, the song Through all the employments of life, is •written to the tune of An old woman clothed in grey. In Old Ballads, ii. 230, 1726, the song of " An old woman clothed in grey," is to the tune of Kind hus­band and imperious wife. The song of " The kind husband but imperious wife," -is contained in Westminster Drollery, 1671, and in Wit and Drollery, 1682, but the tune is not named in either. Here, therefore, the pedigree halts. It should be traceable higher, for I am convinced that such words as " Kind Husband" never had music composed for them. They are a dialogue between a man and his wife, and commence—
" Wife, prithee come give me thy hand now, And sit thee down by me ; .There's never a man in the land now Shall be more loving to thee."
-A copy of An old woman clothed in grey, in Dr. Burney's Collection of songs, rwith music (Brit. Mus.), has a manuscript date of 1662. Besides The Beggars'1 Opera, it was introduced in Henry Carey's Musical Century, vol. ii., and in the ballad opera, The Humours of the Court, or Modern Gallantry, 1732.
The song, Let Oliver now be forgotten, is said to be to the tune of Sow unhappy is Pliillis in love. Both words and music are contained in 180 Loyal Songs, 1685 and 1694; and in Pills to purge Melancholy, ii. 283,1719. The tune, without words, is in Salter's Genteel Companion for the Recorder, 1683, and in Lady Catherine Boyd's MS. Lyra Viol book, lately in the possession of Mr. A. Blaikie. Many political ballads were written to it under one or other of these names, especially about the year 1680. For instance, in Mr. Halliwell's Collection, IjCheetham Library, are, at fol. 171, "An excellent new ballad of the plotting head. To the tune of Sow unhappy is Phillis in love; or, Let Oliver now be forgoitenP Printed for R. Moor, 1681. At fol. 243, " Tony's Lamentation; ■ or, Potapski's City Case, being his last farewell to the consecrated Whigs. The -tune is, Let Oliver now be forgotten? 1682. ^ In 180 Loyal Songs, "The Con­spiracy : or, The discovery of the fanatick plot, 1684; and in Mat. Taubman's

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