Look at me/ now on the/ high-road to/ ruin,
Money I /scatter and /glasses I /break.
Everyone/ else but the/ maid I'm pur/suin'
Pities, in/deed, the Un/fortunate/ Rake!
These words do have the feel of a jig to them. I've marked where I think the bar lines would come.
If you try to sing the words to a 19th century Unfortunate Lad to this rhythm, it gets a bit tricky. You need a non-syllabic approach to the melody-tune relationship.
Not sure where this thought gets me. Except that maybe it shows how the verse I quoted was probably written by somebody trained in a one syllable per note tradition. But singers working with it may have introduced 'grace notes', depending upon their background, I guess.
Cannot think what I was reading that got me thinking about this word-tune relationship business.
Just for fun, Hogarth's Rakes Progress: date 1733, a time when the word and idea of a 'rake' was in fashion. Not attempting clicky, they never work for me.
On the term 'rake', if you're in England and your county library service subscribes to the OED you can read it online by inputting your library card number via the county library service web site (not sure what arrangements there might be in Ireland).
Doing this I learn their earliest use of 'rake' to mean fashionable or stylish man of dissolute or promiscuous habits dates from a poem of 1693 by R Ames. From 1710 the same word was applied to women.
The word as referring to a man appeared in a 'comic opera' published in Dublin by Sheridan in the late 18th century called The Duenna. Goldsmith used it in 1759 referring to a woman.
Wondering if this fits with Unfortunate Rakes tunes/airs dates.
The dictionary shows that following Hogarth's paintings/prints, the phrase 'rakes progress' came into the language.
It's information like this which made me suppose there might be downfall songs about 'rakes' written. The zietgiest (cannot spell this, sorry for not looking it up)