Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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The following version is from The Convivial Songster, 1782:— " There was a jolly miller once liv'd on the river Dee; He danc'd and he sang from morn till night, no lark so blithe as he. And this the burden of his song for ever us'd to be— I care for nobody, no, not I, if nobody cares for me. I live by my mill, God bless her ! she's kindred, child, and wife; I would not change my station for any other in life. No lawyer, surgeon, or doctor, e'er had a groat from me— I care for nobody, no, not I, if nobody cares for me. When Spring begins its merry career, oh I how his heart grows gay; No summer drought alarms his fears, nor winter's sad decay; No foresight mars the miller's joy, who's wont to sing and say— Let others toil from year to year, I live from day to day. Thus like the miller, bold and free, let us rejoice and sing; The days of youth are made for glee, and time is on the wing. This song shall pass from me to thee, along this jovial ring— Let heart and voice and all agree to say Long live the King." About two years ago, the following stanzas were sent to the editor of The lUustrated London News to be printed among the " Memorabilia " in that journal. They were found written on the fly-leaf of a volume of Dryden's Miscellany Poems (printed in 1716), and the finder supposed them to be the original song of The jolly Miller :— There was a jolly miller once                             A coin or two I've in my purse,
Lived on the river Dee;                                     To help a needy friend;
He work'd and sang from morn till night,         A little I can give the poor,
No lark more blithe than he.                              And still have some to spend.
And this the burden of his song                        Though I may fail, yet I rejoice,
For ever used to be—                                        Another's good hap to see.
I care for nobody, no, not I,                                          I care for nobody, &c.
If nobody cares for me.                                   So iet us his example take,
The reason why he was so blithe,                          And be from malice free;
He once did thus unfold—                              Let every one his neighbour serve,
The bread I eat my hands have earn'd;                 As served he'd like to be.
I covet no man's gold ;                                    And merrily push the can about,
I do not fear next quarter-day;                              And drink and sing with glee;
In debt to none I be.                                      If nobody cares a doit for us,
I care for nobody, &c.                                 Why not a doit care we.
When the harvest-supper song is sung to this tune, it is generally in a major key. I have copies so noted down in Kent, in Suffolk, and in Wiltshire; and it h printed in that form in " Old English Songs as now sung by the peasantry of. the Weald of Surrey and Sussex" (collected by the Rev. John Broadwood), harmonized by G. A. Dusart.
The following are the harvest-supper words as commonly sung:— " Here's a health unto our master, the founder of the feast; I hope his soul, whenever he dies, to heav'n may go. to rest; That all his works may prosper, whatever he takes in hand ; For we are all his servants, and all at his command. Then, drink—boys—drink—and see you do not spill, For if you do, you shall drink two, it is our master's will.

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