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Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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Ten shillings for a kiss
Pepys, i, 316, B.L., three woodcuts, four columns.
The date is probably about 1615: John White printed during the years 1613-1625. The ballad is unusual in having a second part in a different measure and to a different tune from the first part. Rare indeed is this procedure1. When, towards the end of the sixteenth century, printers began to divide ballads into two parts, they felt that each part was an entity, and sometimes, as in the case of the well-known "Widow of Watling Street," actually printed each part on a separate broadside. Two tunes and different measures were then appropriate. In a few years, how­ever, every ballad came to have two parts, but the division was a purely mechanical device due to the forme; as a result, only one tune could be used, and the formula, "The second part. To the same tune," became stereotyped.
The ballad is unique in manner and contents, and is rather clever. The maid bids an astonishingly high price for a kiss, for, as her lover tells her, other maidens are offering for a husband only five shillings. In stanzas 19—2 r there is a general allusion to other ballads made by love-lorn damsels and a specific reference to "A Maiden's Lamentation for a Bedfellow. Or, I can, nor will no longer lye alone. As it hath been often sung at the Court. To the tune of I willgive thee kisses, one, two, or three" (Pepys, 1, 246, 286).
The first tune is given in Chappell's Popular Music, 1, 315; the second, equivalent to / will give thee kisses, one, two, or three, is unknown; it seems to involve a refrain of "sweeter than the honey" and "sweeter than the blossoms," both of which are used throughout in No. 21.
1 There are other examples in the Pepys collection, e.g. the ballads of "Nobody loves mee," with its first part to the tune of Philliday, its second to Dainty, come thou to me, and "The Lover's Lamentation to his Love Nancy," with its first part to the tune of Did you see Nan today? its second to Virginia (Pepys, 1, 430, and 332).
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