Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Easter Hymns



Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
570
ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
appears without any name, and merely as a lesson. There are " theatre tunes," song tunes, airs, catches, and other compositions, in the collection, but no air that I can trace to have been used for ballads except this. It is the only copy I have met with that was printed before the revolution.
In 1689, Lilliburlero was included in the second part of Music's Handmaid, as " A new Irish Tune," by " Mr. Purcell;" in 1690, in The Dancing Master and Apollo's Banquet; in 1691, Purcell used it as a ground to the fifth air in his opera, The Grordian Knot unty'd; and afterwards it appeared in Pills to purge Melancholy, and in juany ballad-operas, &c.
James II. fled from England on the 23rd of December, 1688, and the ballad printers took immediate advantage of the change of affairs. A copy of Lillibur­lero, published in that very month, is extant in Wood's Collection of Broadsides. The printer professes to give the " excellent new tune;" but, instead of it, used a block, or type, with the air of Stingo, or Oil of Barley. Nor is this a solitary instance; for " The Irish Lasses Letter; or, Her earnest Request to Teague, her dear Joy," which was also to be sung to the excellent new tune, and was printed in the same month, has the same music. Sufficient time had not elapsed to pre­pare the type, or to cut a new wood-block with the proper air.
In Nicholson and Burn's Westmoreland and Cumberland (4to., 1777, i. 550), Henry Wharton (brother of the reputed author) is said to have " assumed the habit of a player, and sung before the King [James II.], in the playhouse, the famous party song of Lilliburlero" This is quoted, from Nicholson and Burn, by Banks in his Extinct Baronage, and from Banks, in Ellis's Lover Correspondence. It is a story that should be received with caution; for it may be asked, what would have become of the players who permitted, of the musicians who played, and of Henry Wharton, who sang such a song in the presence of so unforgiving a monarch as James ?
As to the authorship of the tune, it is distinctly ascribed to Henry Purcell in Music's Handmaid. The only question is whether he took the first four bars from a Somersetshire song, " In Taunton Dean che were bore and bred," the words of which are evidently as old as the civil wars, because, among the sights of London, one is St. Paul's Cathedral turned into a stable. On the other hand, tltat air may not be as old as Lilliburlero, for I know of no copy earlier than 1729, and there is another under the same name (but said to be "a new tune"), printed with the words of In Taunton Lean in The Merry Musician, i. 305, 1716. Again, although There was an old fellow at Waltham Cross was sung to the tune of In Taunton Lean (the one that resembles Lilliburlero) in the ballad-operas of Flora, and The Jovial Crew, there is no proof that the same music was sung in Brome's original play. On the contrary, there is other music to " There was an old fellow," in Hilton's Catch that catch can, and Playford's Musical Companion.
The first collection in which the words of Lilliburlero appeared was The Muses' Farewell to Popery and Slavery, 1689. It was afterwards published in Poems on Affairs of State, and some others. Percy prints but the first part.
Shadwell seems to refer to the copy of the tune in Music's Handmaid (where







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