Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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More is worth a handful of love Than an oven full of gold and silver.
Another form of the love song than the melan­choly apostrophe to the mistress, and the simple moralizing which accompanies it, is the gay chant, which was composed to the dance measures played by the biniou and the bombarde at the village fetes, and which was sung in accord with them. On these occasions, which were chiefly the Pardons, or ga­therings to celebrate the days of the Patron Saints, when the religious exercises are concluded, the young men engage in athletic competition, wrest­ling and jumping for prizes under the eyes of their sweethearts, and the festivities wind up with dan­cing on the green, and the scene is as gay as if it had no connection with religion. Every Breton story teller, and every writer on the life and cus­toms of Brittany, has delighted to depict these scenes, which are the rendezvous of youthful lovers and the embodiment of vigorous and healthy gay-ety, with all the picturesqueness of country life and color. The element of these dance songs is their lively and strongly accented melody to accompany the dancing air and illustrate the movements, as in the following specimen : —
Sunday I have seen,
Sunday I will see, Three of my young lovers,
Who '11 come and dance with me.
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