A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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28               A CENTURY OF BALLADS
Royal lyric writers are few and far between, but Charles II is credited with having* written the words of a song which was very popular in its day, " I pass all my hours in a shady old grove." The words were set by Pelham Humfrey, who also published a setting of " Where the bee sucks," which was not destined to have a long life. A song of his which attained some popu­larity was " Wherever I am and whatever I do," composed for Dryden's Conquest of Granada in 1672. One of Humfrey's peculiarities as a composer was his predilection for minor keys.
A contemporary of Humfrey's was Dr. John Blow, whose setting of the Earl of Rochester's verses "All my past life is mine alone' was a popular ballad of the day. Dr. Blow was first and foremost a composer of church music, but two other of his songs that achieved popu­larity were " We all to conquering beauty bow," and " It is not that I love you less," the names of which would seem to suggest that long titles for songs were the fashion of the day. "It is not that I love you less' was also set by Charles Young, father of the singer Cecilia Young, who afterwards married Dr. Arne.
A more lasting fame has been the lot of the popular old song "The Roast Beef of Old Eng­land." The music of this song is by Richard
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