Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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TRADITIONAL TUNES OF UNCERTAIN DATE.                            727
'TWAS DOWN IN CUPID'S GARDEX.
This is one of the most generally known of traditional songs. Several sets of words are sung to the tune, but all are about " Cupid's Garden." Some of the untutored singers chant only the second half of the air, and occasionally make niie bars, by turning the dotted minim on the word " grow " (in the last bar but two) into a crotchet, thus :
" Cupid's Garden " is a corruption of " Cuper's Gardens," which were once a celebrated place of amusement on the Surrey side of the Thames, exactly opposite to Somerset House.
Of these gardens, Dr. Rimbault gives the following account in Fly Leaves (2 id Series, p. 52):" They derived their name from Boydell Cuper, a gardener in the family of Thomas, Earl of Arundel, who, when Arundel House in the Strand was taken down, had interest enough to procure many of the mutilated marbles, which he removed to the gardens he was then forming as a place of popular amusement." They were opened in 1678, and Aubrey, in his Account of Surrey, thus speaks of them:" Near the Bankside, lies a very pleasant garden, in which are fine walks, known by the name of Cupid's (i.e., Cuper's) Gardens. They are the estate of Jesus College, in Oxford, and erected by one who keeps a public house; which, with the conveniency of its arbours, walks, and several remains of Greek and Roman antiquities, have made thi3 place much frequented."
'■'About the year 1736, Mrs. Evans, the widow of a man who kept the ancient tavern known as the ' Hercules' Pillars', in Fleet Street, opposite Clifford's Inn, took Cuper's Gardens, and erected an orchestra and an organ, intending it as a place of entertainment for the summer evenings, similar to Vanxhall. It subsequently became famous for its displays of fireworks. Warburton, the well-known antiquary, writing to his friend Hurd, "July 9th, 1753, thus describes them :' I dined the other day with a kdy of quality, who told me she was going that evening to see the ' finest fireworks' at Marybone. I said fireworks was a very odd refreshment for this sultry weather ; that-, indeed, Cupcr's Gardens had been once famous for this summer entertainment; but then his fireworks were so well understood, and conducted with so superior an understanding, that they never made their appearance to the company till they had been well cooled by being drawn through a long canal of water, with the same kind of refinement that the Eastern people smoke their tobacco through the same medium."
'■ Cuper's Garden kept up its celebrity for many seasons, but at length yielded to its formidable rival, Vauxhall, and was finally closed in 1753. Some accounts say that it was suppressed in consequence of the dissoluteness of its visitors. Indeed, from the following lines in Welsted's Epistle 'On False Fame,' the company was evidently not always the most select:







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