Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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THE BREAST KNOT. This is still a favorite Morris Dance in some parts of Derbyshire and Lanca­shire. It is contained in Thompson's, and several other Collections of Country Dances, subsequent to The Dancing Master.
ON YONDER HIGH MOUNTAINS. This is one of the airs introduced in The Cobbler's Opera, 1729, and in Silvia, w The Country Burial, 1731.
I have not found any song or ballad commencing, " On yonder high mountains," but " Over hills and high mountains " was a very popular ballad in the latter part of the preceding century, and the tune often referred to.
This is evidently a ballad-tune, and as the metre of " Over hills and high mountains " exactly suits it, as well as the character of the words, it is probably the right air.
Copies of " Over hills and high mountains" are in the Bagford Collection (043, m. 10, p. 165), and in the Pepys Collection, iii. 165. The ballad is entitled " The Wandering Maiden, or True Love at length united," &c, " to an excellent new tune." " Printed by J. Deacon, at the Angel in Guiltspur Street, without Newgate." It commences thus:
" Over hills and high mountains long time have I gone; Ah ! and down by the fountains, by myself all alone; Through bushes and briars, being void of all care, Through perils and dangers for the loss of my dear."
These lines are quite a paraphrase of " Love will find out the way," and were it not that the tune is said to be "new," and at a date when "Love will find out the way " was extremely popular, I should infer them to have been intended for that air. However, Over hills and high mountains is often referred to as a distinct tune.
In The True Loyalist, or Chevalier's Favourite, 12mo., 1779, is a Jacobite psarody of Over hills and high mountains, but there are too many feet in the lines. It commences thus:—
" Over yon hills, and yon lofty mountain, Where the trees are clad with snow, And down by yon murm'ring crystal foun-Where the silver streams do flow; [tain,
There fair Flora sat complaining, For the absence of our King,
Crying, Charlie, lovely Charlie, When shall we two meet again ? "
I suppose " fair Flora " to be intended for Flora Maedonald.

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