Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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REIGN OS CHARLES II.                                               539
If on your death-bed you do lie, What needs the tale you're telliri';
I cannot keep you from your death ; Farewell, said Barbara Allen.
He turn'd his face unto the wall,
As deadly pangs he fell in : Adieu ! adieu ! adieu to you all,
Adieu to Barbara Allen.
As she was walking o'er the fields, She heard the bell a knellin';
And every stroke did seem to say, Unworthy Barbara Allen,
She turn'd.her body round about, And spied the corpse a coming;
Lay down, lay down the corpse, she said, That I may look upon him.
With scornful eye she looked down, Her cheek with laughter swellin';
Whilst all her friends cried out amain, Unworthy Barbara Allen.
When he was dead, and laid in grave, Her heart was struck with sorrow,
O mother, mother, make my bed, For I shall die to-morrow.
Hard-hearted creature him to slight,
Who loved me so dearly : O that I had been more kind to him
When he was alive and near me!
She, on her death-bed as she lay, Begg'd to be buried by him ;
And sore repented of the day, That she did e'er deny him.
Farewell, she said, ye virgins all, And shun the fault I fell in :
Henceforth take warning by the fall Of cruel Barbara Allen.
"Sing him Arthur of Bradley, or, / am the Duke of Norfolk."
Wycherley's Gentleman's Dancing Master, 1G73.
When I first read the ballad of " Arthur of Bradley," it struck me imme­diately that it must have been sung to the' tune of Roger de Qoverley. The words ran so glibly to the tune, that I could scarcely forbear to hum it over to them, I still retain the impression, and the probabilities are strengthened by having traced Roger de Qoverley to an earlier date, and as a Lancashire hornpipe. In the ballad, Arthur calls upon the piper to play " a hornpipe, that went fine on the bagpipe," and no other dance is -mentioned at the wedding. There are many places called Bradley, in England, and, among them, one in Yorkshire, another in Lancashire, and a third in Derbyshire.
All the black-letter copies of the ballad of " Arthur of Bradley" that I have noticed, direct it to be sung "to a pleasant new tune;" so that, unless a copy of Roger de Qoverley can be found under the name of " Arthur of Bradley," or " Saw ye not Pierce the Piper ?" the identification will remain doubtful. One thing, however, is certain,—that " Arthur of Bradley" must have been sung to a tune in \ time, and to one that consisted of twelve bars. % time is common to English jig and hornpipe tunes.
'• Arthur-a-Bradley" is referred to by Ben Jonson, Dekker, and other Eliza­bethan dramatists; in Braith wait's Strappado for the Divell; and in the ballad of " Robin Hood's birth, breeding, valour, and marriage." See also Gilford's notes to his edition of Ben Jonson, iv., 401, 410, and 533.
The ballad is printed in " An Antidote against Melancholy: made up in pills, compounded of witty ballads, jovial songs, and merry catches," 1661, and in Ritson's " Robin Hood," ii. 210. Ritson retains the title of the black-letter "copies, " A Merry Wedding; or, 0 brave Arthur of Bradley."

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