Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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534                                ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
ROGER DE COVERLEY. This still popular dance-tune, from which Addison borrowed the name of Sir Roger de Coverley in The Spectator, is contained in Playford's Division Violin, 1685; in The Dancing Master of 1696, and all subsequent editions; also in many ballad-operas, and more recent publications.
In a manuscript now in my possession, which was written about the commence­ment of the last century, but contains 'tunes of a much earlier date, it is entitled " Old Roger of Coverlay for evermore, a Lancashire Hornpipe;" in The Dancing Master, "Roger o/" Coverly;" in the ballad-opera of Polly, "Roger a Coverly;" in Robin Hood, "Roger de Coverly;" and in Tom Jones, 1769, "Sir Roger de Coverley."
There is a song with the burden, " 0 brave Roger a Cauverly," in Pills to
purge Melancholy, vi. 31; and which I suppose should be to the tune, although
four bars of Old Sir Simon the King are printed above it. Both are in | time.
It commences very abruptly, as if it were a fragment, instead of an entire song—
- " She met with a countryman                    But as for John of the Green,
In the middle of all the Green;             I care not a pin for he.
And Peggy was his delight,                       Bulls and bears, and lions and dragons,
And good sport was to be seen.                  And 0 brave Hoger a Cauverly ;
But ever she cried, Brave Roger,                Piggins and niggins, pints and Jlagons,
I'll drink a whole glass to thee;                  0 brave Soger a Cauverly."
These % tunes are not found in the earliest editions of The Dancing Master, perhaps, because they were originally jig and hornpipe tunes, rather than country-dances. I cannot, in any other way, account for not having met with early copies of tunes to such well-known ballads as Arthur a Bradley (so frequently mentioned by Elizabethan dramatists), which, from the metre of the words, must have been sung to an air in \ time, and in all probability to this.
According to Ralph Thoresby's MS. account of the family of Calverley, of Cal-verley, in Yorkshire, the dance of Roger de Coverley was named after a knight who lived in the reign of Richard I. Thoresby was born in 1658. The following extract from his manuscript was communicated to Notes and Queries, i. 369, by Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan, Bart.:—" Roger, so named from the Archbishop [of York], was a person of renowned hospitality, since, at this day, the obsolete known tune of Roger a Calvcrley is referred to him, who, according to the custom of those times, kept his Minstrels, from that, their office, named Harpers, which became a family, and possessed lands till late years in and about Calverley, called to this day Marpersroids and Harper's Spring."
Another correspondent of Notes and Queries, vi. 37, says that in Virginia, U.S.,. the dance is named My Aunt Margery, but I find no English authority for the change.
It is mentioned as one which " the hob-nailed fellows " call for, in The History of Robert Poivel, the Puppet-showman, 8vo., 1715. " Upon the prelude's being ended, each party fell to bawling and calling for particular tunes. The hob-nail'd fellows, whose breeches and lungs seem'd to be of the same leather, cried out for Cheshire Rounds, Roger of Coverly, Joan's Placket, and Northern Nancy."
Finally, it is known in Scotland under the name of " The Mautman comes on







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