The Begger Boy
The tune name may derive from the song "The Begger Boy of the North" (c. 1630). This tune is in the rare Phrygian mode--suggested chords are given
ancient pedigree, by due descent
Alan Ramsey's song The Bonny Scot (1728) is set to this tune
gales that gently wave the sea
broome, broome, The bonny bonny Broome
The tune "The Broom of Cowdenknows" was listed in 1632 with a ballad entitled "The lovely northern lasse", who in the ditty here "complaining shews what harme she got milking her Daddies ewes." Cowdenknows was a Scottish estate and barony on the east bank of the river Leander, 32 miles SE of Edinburgh, close to the English border. The broom, a shrub which blooms with spikes of small golden flowers, once grew plentifully of its hillsides but was stripped away for turnip farming in the 19th century
Chestnut or Doves Figary
The tune is reminiscent today of the first phrase of "God rest ye merry, gentlemen", and is a folk tune of widest distribution, the "tune of luck-visit songs, wassails, harvest suppers, may carols and their parodies, 'chestnut' having feminine symbolism. The second title may be expalined by Deloney's ballad of 1600 on Dove's roguery with the women. Although it is an awkward fit, repeating the last words of some lines might make it work.
to town, Tom Dove, Tom Dove,
Cuckolds all a row
bachelors and married men, and listen to my song
An early 17th century song retells Ovid's myth of the pursuit of Daphne, who was turned into a laurel tree to prevent violation by Apollo. Bernini's spectacular sculpture of the moment of Daphne's transformation had been created in Tome in 1622-24, the subject being popular in baroque art. Apollo was also known as Phoebus.
Daphne from fair Phoebus did fly
Dargason or Sedauny
With two titles of Welsh derivation, both of which escape convincing explanation, this unique progressive dance is paired with a 16th century double-tonic circular tune of haunting familiarity. The title of the song also connects the tune to Wales, Shropshire lying in the foothills on the English side of the border.
Chappell quotes the first of 16 verses set to this tune in the 17th century:
The Shrop-shire Wakes, or hey for Christmas, being the delightful sports of most countries, to the tune of Dargason.
Robin, Ralph, and little Harry
Faine I would, The King's Complaint, or Parthenia
Original instructions:"As at Oxford" Having lost London to Cromwell, Charles I convened a royalist parliament in Oxford in 1644. A supporter of Charles I, John Playford continued a royalist at heart and again served as printer to the king at the restoration of Charles II.
I would, if I could
The A strain appears titled "CLIV Courante" in Michael Praetorius's "Terpsichore" (1612).
The Health or The Merry Wasel
Chappell cites a song which certainly fits the title. Probably originally from a play, it has a number of specific personal references. The reference to Wickham may be a seafaring one, as that village is very near Portsmouth, a major port, particularly for military operations.
faith, since I'm parting
There are two distinct tunes named "Heartsease" and considerable differences of opinion as to whether any of the known lyrics fit either of them. The earliest lyric is "a songe to the tune of hartes ease" from Thomas Richardes' play on an Italian model, called "Misogonus" (c. 1560). Although it scans well, the text is arranged in short verses which would only use half the dance tune, implying that an earlier tune by this name may have had only one strain.
Richard Dering's catch "Cries of London" is set to the A strain.
Hearts-ease in 16th century herbal culture was the little wild pansy, known today as Johnny-jump-up. It was also called "Love in Idleness".
care away with sport & playe
cooper I am, and have been long, and hooping is my trade
This short-lived dance may be associated with Shirley's popular play "Hide Park" (1637), which contained a wedding scene with dancing. In 1668, Pepys attended a revival which included live horses brought on stage, probably for the race scene in the fourth act. He was not much impressed and considered it "a very moderate play".
If all the World were Paper
all the world were paper and all the seas were ink,
Jenny pluck Pears
Jenny is a common name for a rustic sweetheart and can be as disreputable as Betty or Moll, a pear, or pear-tree has an oblique meaning, and the whole may have much the same sexual significance as "Green Sleeves".
Lulle me beyond thee
A variant to "Stingo", "Oil of Barley" or "Cold and Raw", printed by Thomas Urfey in 1686. He believed the tune to be Scots. Robert Burns made a song on this title entitled "Craigieburn Wood".
Mage on a Cree
The dance is a progressive round, one of the earliest types found in The Dancing Master. No one has been able to explain the meaning of the title, and from the entries in old books, it seems it was not clear then. It may have been Irish. When the title was first used for a ballad in 1633, the tune name was "Magina-cree".
The Maid peept out at the window or The Frier in the Well
"The Friar in the Well": The story is an old one, and one of the many popular songs against monks and friars. D'Urfey included the song in "Pills to Purge Melancholy" (1719).
I lay musing all alone, a merry tale I thought upon
The merry merry Milke Maids
One of the verses in "The Milkemaid's Life" describes an 18th century May Day custom in which the milkmaids and the sweeps dance in the street with a garland.
the first of May, with garlands fresh and gay
The New Exchange or The New Royal Exchange
One of two tunes commemorating a large commercial building built in 1609 in competition with the Royal Exchange. Because there was another tune by this title, it was renamed "The New New Exchange" (1665) and "The New Royal Exchange" (1670).
go no more to the New Exchange, there is no room at all
Simpson feels that the surviving tune is not the one which had some currency in Elizabethan days. He points out that wrenchings of accent are necessary to accomplish the fit of Playford's dance tune to a curious fragment of text found in the 18th century Percy folio MS, a source of dubious authenticity itself.
Came you not from Newcastle?
Came yee not there away?
It is quite possible that this dance was inspired by William, Duke of Newcastle, a royalist who remained in London and bent his interests towards the theatre during the interregnum.
Nonesuch was built in 1538 by Henry VIII over the demolished property of the village of Cuddington, near Epsom Wells in Sussex, to be the most ostentatious hunting lodge ever made. At the very end of her life, Elizabeth I visited Nonesuch, as a guest of Lord Lumley, son-in-law of the Earl of Arundel, and it was reported that "there is much dancing of country dances in the privy chamber at Nonesuch, before the Queen's majesty, who is exceedingly pleased therewith".
Picking of Sticks
A variant of an older tune called "Whoop, do me no harm", a salacious song which Chappell could not bring himself to print.
The old church of St. Martin, Ludgate, named for the patron saint of the vintners, described as "a proper church and lately new built", was destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt in 1673-1684 from the designs of Sir Christopher Wren. 1997 by John Chambers, http://eddie.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/
Shepheards Holyday or Labour in Vaine
upon love! fond love! false love!
First printed in the "William Ballet Lute Book" (1595). It is not known that the town of Staines, on the Thames, had any connection with this tune. There is much disagreement over which e's should be flat or natural. Older books all show Eb throughout, but this could just be an result of using "proper" classical notation. Current practice seems to be to play it mostly in Dorian mode.
Barnes (dated 1650), E. Hunt #32, Playford, Raven (in Em)
Stingo The Oyle of Barly or Cold and Raw
Refer to the notes for "Lulle me beyond thee" Many lyrics were set to the tune, all having in common the metaphorical themes of strong ale, and of "selling barley", the feminine equivalent of "sowing wild oats". In 1688 a "new Scotch song" set to the tune appear. Written by D'Urfey, it began "Cold and raw the North did blow".
merry, my friends, and list a while
--Humour, Wit and Satire (1647)
Upon a Summer's Day or The Garland
dearest deare adue, since that I needs must goe
my dearest heart, if that thou leave me here