Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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696
ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
cites a copy of the music in a manuscript book, once the property of Thomas Britton, the musical small-coal-man,. as a proof " that the air was known some years before James II. was crowned, the date of the book being 1676." This manuscript (now in the library of the Sacred Harmonic Society) was then in the possession of John Sydney Hawkins, F.S.A., by whom it was shown to me. It bears the following inscription, " Deane Monteage, given him by his father, 1676," but the music could not have been written even in the time of Thomas Britton, who died in 1714. It is in the same handwriting as " Sweet Annie fra' the sea beach came," by Dr. Greene, several pieces by Bononcini and Handel, and among others, " The dead March " in Saul. Handel's oratorio of Saul was first published in 1740. Clark was quite aware that the music of " God save the King " could not have been written there, at the date of the book, for Hawkins had drawn his attention to the preceding pieces, which are in the same hand-writing. His mis-statement has been copied without acknowledgment, in " An account of the Grand Musical Festival at York, by John Crosse, Esq., F.S.A., F.R.S."
Instead of making proper search for Dr. Bull's manuscript, Clark contented himself with printing the list of its contents from Ward's Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, and when he arrived at the piece entitled " God save the King," adding the following curious note:—" Here then is a positive, incontro­vertible, and undeniable claim by Dr. Bull, to the tune of " God save the King," as composed by him in honour of King James I. It must be the same tune which is sung at the present time, because it has never yet appeared that there were two of a similar description. This circumstance alone proves that fact, at least it must be so admitted until another is produced, supported by evidence sufficiently strong to invalidate the title claimed by the former."
Dr. Bull's manuscript was not in Sion College, but in the possession of Dr. Kitchener, who entirely disproved Clark's theory, by publishing Dr. Bull's " God
save the King." It is a piece on four notes, Asf ' -I— ^— corresponding
with the four words, " God save the King," and was probably intended to represent the cry when the king appeared. These four notes are repeated over and over, with twenty-six different bases, and occupy seven pages of the manuscript.
At the death of Dr. Kitchener, Clark purchased the book for £20, and then announced that the air of " God save the King " was really contained in it. It is a curious fact (of which he could not have been aware when he published his account) that an " ayre " at page 98 of the manuscript is very like our " God save the King." The piece which is therein entitled " God save the King," is at page 66, and the same which Kitchener published. When Clark played the " ayre " to me, with the book before him, I thought it to be the original of the national anthem; but afterwards, taking the manuscript into my own hands, I was con­vinced that it had been tampered with, and the resemblance strengthened, the







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