Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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The Primitive Methodists, or Ranters, acting upon the principle of " Why should the devil have all the pretty tunes ?" collect the airs which are sung at pot and public houses, and write their hymns to them. If the original words should be coarse, or indelicate, they are thought the more to require this trans­formation. I do not stop to enquire whether the hearers can readily divest themselves of the old associations,—the motive is good, without doubt, however ill-directed the effort.
In this sect we have living examples of the " puritans who sing psalms to hornpipes." They do not mince the matter by turning them into slow tunes, and disguising them by harmony, but sing them in their original lively time.
The system of employing secular music for sacred purposes is not, however, confined to Ranters. Even now, in France, Roman Catholic children sing their cantiques in the churches to—
" C'est l'amour, l'amour, l'amour
Qui fait la monde a la ronde;" •
and to other tunes of the same class: nor are we of the Church of England very
unlike them, while a portion of our clergy will have such an Advent Hymn, as
" Lo ! He comes, in clouds descending," to the the tune of—
" Guardian Angels, now protect me,
Send to me the youth I love "—

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