Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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COUNTRY BUMPKIN. This tune is found in many of the ballad-operas in the first half of the last century, such as The Cobbler's Opera; Robin Hood; Mourns turrCd Fabulist, or V,dean's Wedding; Bon Quixote in England; and The Welsh Opera, or The Grey Mare the better Horse.
The song from which it appears to derive its name is entitled " The Politick Club," and contained in Pills to purge Melancholy, ii. 277 (1700 and 1707) ; but there printed to G-reen Sleeves.
The tune is generally known at the present time. A few years ago it was the vehicle of a song commencing—
" When a man's a little bit poorly, He makes a fuss—wants a nurse, Thinks he's going to die most surely, Sends for a doctor and soon gets worse."
The barbarous amusement which is the subject of this song, was with the Athenians at first partly a religious and partly a political institution, and after­wards continued for improving the seeds of valour in the minds of their youth, but eventually perverted, both there and in other parts of Greece, to a common pas-time, without any political or religious intention. It was afterwards adopted by the Romans, and by them probably introduced into England. Cockfighting has been called by some a royal diversion; and the Cockpit at Whitehall was added to the palace by Henry the Eighth, and enlarged by Charles II., for the purpose of giving greater patronage and importance to the amusement.
This tune is an especial favourite in Derbyshire and Warwickshire, and may frequently be heard in the alehouses, to these and to other words. It was con­tributed in 1835, by the late Mr. Ward, a teacher of music in Manchester, who used occasionally to entertain his friends by singing it in the provincial dialect. From the testimony of two persons he then traced it back one hundred and twonty years. I do not, however, think that any such tracings are very reliable as to the integrity of a tune, and beg the reader to compare the two following.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III