Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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WILLY WAS SO BLITHE A LAD, ETC.
785
p. 507. Willy was so blithe a lad.—In Youth's Delight on the Flagelet, this is called Billy was as blyth a lad.
p. 509. Jenny, gin.—This is a song by Mrs. A. Behn, in her comedy, The City Heiress, commencing, "Ah, Jenny, gin your eyes do kill." (1682.) The tune is in Playford's Choice Ayres, v. 25, 1684, and in all editions of Pills to purge Melancholy.
p. 513. The leather Bottel.—The song on Queen Mary here referred to, written by " William Forrest, Freest," was, no doubt, W. Forrest, of Christ Church, Oxford, who was Chaplain to Queen Mary on her accession to the throne.
p. 515. Turn again, Whittington.—Some suppose Sir Richard Whittington to have laid the foundation of his fortune by a coasting vessel, called a Cat. In the Encyclopcedia Londinensis, a Cat is thus defined: " A ship employed in the coal trade, distinguished by a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and a deck waist. These vessels are generally built remarkably strong, and carry from four to six hundred tons (or, in the language of the mariners, from twenty to thirty keels) of coals." Cat-water, at Plymouth, is the harbour for coasters, traders, colliers, &c, &c, so called to this day.
p. 524, 1. 3. Young Jemmy.—The song commencing, " Young Jemmy was a lad," is by Mrs. A. Behn, and included in her Poems upon several occasions, Svo., 1684. Another song on the Duke of Monmouth was printed for B. Shuter in 1682, and entitled " Jemmy and Anthony : to the tune of Young Jemmy." (Itox., iii. 917.) It commences:—
"Monmouth is a brave lad,                               Long may he live in happy years,
The like's not in our city;                              Victorious may he be,
He is no Tory blade,—                                  And prosper long those noble peers,
Give ear unto my ditty !                                 Monmouth and Shaftesbury."
p. 527. My lodging is on the cold ground.—The parody on this song, which was sung by Nell Gwyn in Howard's play, All mistaken, contains a personal allusion to her rival, Moll Davis, who was short and fat. (See Cunningham's Story of Nell Gwyn, p. 60, edit. 1852.) It commences:—
" My lodging is on the cold boards,               But that which troubles me most is
And wonderful hard is my fare ;                  The fatness of my dear," &c.
Between 1713 and 1775, the original song may be found in The Hive, 1726 and 1732, and in Vocal Miscellany, 1734. Soon after 1775, the air was introduced by Giordani as the larghetto movement of the third of his first set of concertos for the harpsichord, OF. 14, and on the 15th May, 1794, the song was entered at Stationers' Hall, as sung by Mrs. Harrison at Harrison and Kny vett's concerts; so that it may be traced in constant favour in England from the time of Charles II. down to the present day. I cannot find a shadow of reason for calling it an Irish air. The best Irish autho­rities disclaim it, and the air may even have been unknown in Ireland before Giordani went to reside there, for any proof we have to the contrary. Giordani went to Dublin in 1779, and the second set of his concertos was entered in London at Stationers' Hall on the 12th February of that year. After the failure of his theatrical specula­tion, Giordani commenced teaching in Dublin, and, introducing his own music, attained great repute.







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