The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117095   Message #2519394
Posted By: Artful Codger
18-Dec-08 - 07:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: London Merchant / Old Miser
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: London Merchant / Old Miser
As far as I know, "Bright Gold" is not an established title, merely the last two words in this variant, which Bellamy briefly announced at the end of that recording as the title, whereas the track is instead listed as "The Old Miser". Although the words "bright gold" also end the version sung by George Dow and others, it appears they all call it "The Flower of London", after a phrase in the middle of the text. In the broadsides, the last two words are consistently "cursed gold", and in place of "old miser" in the first line, they have "rich merchant" (as does Dow). All versions I've seen include the epithet "the flower of London".

The Bellamy/Cox tune is repeated for each couplet, hence twice per verse. Bellamy sang the "falling pitch" only at the end of the first couplet in a pair, and then only occasionally. It's a very intentional device, saying "Hey, there's more!": the sustained leading seventh represents the third of an implied V chord, as opposed to the expected tonic (root of a I chord). You need tricks like this when repeating a short tune twenty times in a row.

It may be something Bellamy got from Cox. He recorded Cox--perhaps the recording still exists in the Bellamy archives--so he had ample opportunity to study Cox's variations and phrasing.