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about thirty years after Douglas, mentions it, and another tune besides, in a satirical address to the magis, trates of Edinburgh :
Your common menstrales hes no tune,
Thus, also, in “ the Muses' Threnodie,” a local poem written at Perth in the reign of James VI., “ Hey, the day now dawnes,” is quoted as the name of a celebrated old Scotch song; and in “ The Life and Death of the Piper of Kilbarchan, or the Epitaph of Habbie Simpson," published in Watson's Collection of Scots Poems, 1706, the following line occurs :
Now, who shall play, The day it daws ? Wben Dunbar’s allusion is associated with this last, we are led to conclude, that the air in question was, throughout a round period of two centuries, the common reveillée played by the town pipers, who, till recent times, used to parade the streets of certain royal burghs which supported them, at an early hour in the morning, for the purpose of rousing the inhabitants to their daily labour.
Passing over the two excellent songs which tradition, but tradition alone, ascribes to James the Fifth, - The Gaberlunzie Man,” and “ the Jolly Beggar”
-we find that this monarch, if not himself a songwriter, was at least the cause why song-writing was in others. After his death, the noblemen taken at the battle of Solway Moss were conducted to London, and afterwards liberated by King Henry VIII., with honours and presents, designed to make them exert themselves in favour of his views among their country. men. We are informed, however, by Sir Ralph Sadler, the English king's ambassador at the Scottish court, that, when they returned, they were universally execrated under the epithet of the English lords ; it be
ing supposed that King Henry had engaged them to betray their country.
6 Such ballads and songs were made of them," says Sir Ralph,“ [detailing] how the English angels had corrupted them, as have not been heard.”
We are informed by John Knox, in his “ Historie,” that soon after the death of James V., ane Wilsoun, servant to the Bischope of Dunkeld, quha nether knew the New Testament nor the Auld, made a dispyteful railling ballat against the preichours, and against the governor, for the qubilk he narrowly eschaipit hanging.” The reformer, at another place, preserves a capital specimen of the pasquinading songs of this period ; to wit, “ a sang of triumphe," which the Catholic clergy composed when Norman Leslie, and his associates in the assassination of Cardinal Beatoun, were taken from the castle of St Andrews, and consigned to the galleys :
Priestis, content yow now,
Priestis, content yow now;
Hes filled the gallayis fow.
It is somewhat remarkable that there is still popular at the ancient city of St Andrews, “ a sang of triumphe,” on the opposite score, so nearly resembling this as to seem its prototype. It runs thus :
Marry now, maidens,
Maidens, marry now;
And sautit like a sow. I am informed that the boys of St Andrews, and also of other towns in the east of Fife, are in the habit of singing this stanza to an air, as they perambulate the streets in bands at night. It is evident, in my opinion, that it must have been composed in 1546, immediately
after the assassination of the Cardinal, while he was still lying pickled in the dungeons of the castle. It seems also probable, that the stanza preserved by John Knox was a sort of parody, or imitation of it, which either the same author, or some other, sent forth a few months after, when the castle was taken by the French anti-reformers. As to the meaning of the verse, I believe I need make no attempt to point out what must, when the licentious character of this prelate is taken into account, be so abundantly obvious.
I now come to what may be called an era in the history of Scottish song, the publication, in 1549, of the “ Complaynt of Scotland ;" a work curious in biblio. graphy as the first original work printed in Scottish prose, but which is far more interesting in literary antiquities, on account of the vestiges of Scottish popular song with which it is so largely impressed. The general character of this work is that of a political pamphlet, or rhapsody; and it could, upon the whole, give but little pleasure to a modern reader. Fortunately, however, it contains an episode, in which the author represents himself as weary with study, as travelling forth for recreation into “ the green bolsum fields,” and as there falling into the company of a band of shepherds, who forthwith solace him by singing a number of songs, of which he gives the names. By an eccentricity in composition, which must then have been quite comme il faut, but which would now call down the ridicule of the public, we are thus put into possession of something like a catalogue of the popular songs of the year 1549.
“ Now I will rebearse," says he,“ sum of the sweit sangs that I berd amang them, as eftir followis : in the fyrst, Pastance with gude cumpany, The breir byndis me soir, Still undir the leyuis grene, Cou thou me the raschis grene, Allace, í vyit your twa fair ene, God you gude day vil boy, Lady, help your preson
eir, Kyng Villyamis note, The lange noune nou, The Chapel valk, Faytht is there none, Skald a bellis nou, The Abirdenis nou, Brume brume on hil, Allone I veip in grit distres, Trolee lolee lemmendou, Bille vil thou cum by a lute and belt thee in Sanct Francis cord, The frog cam to the myl dur, The sang of Gilquiskar, Rycht soirly musing in my mynde, God sen the Duke bad biddin in France and Delabaute bad nevyr cum hame, Al musing of meruellis a mys hef I gone, Maestres fayr ze vil forfoyr, O lusty Maye vitht Flora quene, O
myne hart hay this is my sang, The battel of the Hayrlaw, The huntis of Cheuet, Sal I go vitht you to Rumbelo fayr, Greuit is my sorrow, Turne the sueit Ville to me, My lufe is lyand seik-send him joy, send him joy, Fair luf lend thou me thy mantil joy, 'The Perssee and the Mongumrye met, that day, that gentil day, My luf is layd upone ane knycht, Allace that
samyn sweit face, In ane myrthful morou, My hart is leinit on the land. Thir scheipherdis," he adds, " sang mony vther melodious sangis, the quhilkis I haif nocht in memorye.”
We have here the first lines or titles of thirty-seven songs, which no man can doubt were fashionable in the year 1549. If it were possible to give each of them at its full length, how much light should we throw upon the early bistory of song ! Unfortunately, very little of any of them can now be recovered.
Pastance with gude cumpanye, (Pastime with good company,) is supposed by Ritson to have been the composition of King Henry VIII. That antiquary possessed a manuscript of Henry's time, in which he found both the words and the music. He has printed only the first two lines, which, however, contain a good maxim for social life :
Passetyme with good cumpanye
I love, and shall unto I die. Still vnder the leuyis grene, (still under the leaves
green, a beautiful rural image, reminding one of the ever grateful and refreshing “remoto gramine” of Ho. race ! A narrative song under this title is preserved in the manuscript collection of poems made in the reign of Queen Mary, by Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington. It consists of eighteen stanzas, of which the first is as follows:
Still vndir the levis grene
This hinder day I went alone;
She sychtit sely soir,
Said, lord, I luif thy loir ;
Than sould I murne no moir.
Cou thou me the raschis grene. 6 Colle to me the rysshes grene," is the chorus of an old English song. Colle is the same with the Scottish word cou, which signifies to erop or make bare above. It is used, for instance, in allusion to hair-cutting, and also to the act of reducing the snuff of a candle. " Cou thou me the raschis grene,” is therefore the same as Crop for me the rushes green. Possibly, the first two words may be the same with two which figure in a ridiculous burden or chorus, once recited to me in connexion with the old nursery song of the Frog and Mouse.
There was a froggie in a well,
Fa, la, linkum, leerie !
cow-dow ! Kyng Villyamis note is supposed to be the song sung by hendy Nicolas, in Chaucer's Miller's Tale.
And after that he sung the Kinges Note ;
Ful often blessed was his mery throat. I believe that this song must have been descriptive