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Lyr Add: The West-Country Revell

Daniel Kelly 07 Jun 21 - 08:40 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Jun 21 - 09:38 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Jun 21 - 09:53 AM
Daniel Kelly 08 Jun 21 - 02:38 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Jun 21 - 02:10 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The West-Country Revell
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: 07 Jun 21 - 08:40 AM

While searching for a broadside version of 'country life', I came across this very bawdy ballad from the mid 1600s and could not find any other recordings of it or references to it apart from the Roud number. Here are my lyrics transcribed from the broadside, and also my setting which is not the original tune (Moggies Jealousie).


All you that in mirth be delight,
come listen a while to my song,
Which for diversion I write,
not thinking to do any wrong,
And see how poor Abraham leads Anne,
And Abel leads Alice through the Town,
So away they do trip it amain,
for to tumble and give a Green Gown.

Next Ben doth with Betty advance,
And proud of his Mistriss is he,
He says that he must have a dance,
For nothing can please him but she,
Then Bryan with Beatrice comes in,
His Lass he doth take and lay down,
To tell her he then doth begin,
She must needs have a bonny green gown.

Then Charles and Cornelius, brave boys,
With Constance and Christian were next,
And there they completed their joys,
No cause there was then to be vext.
But David and Deborah both,
Most nimbly did trip up and down;
To displease her he seemed to be loth,
For he promis’d to her a green Gown.

When Edward with Elizabeth came,
Then the sport did begin to increase;
And Ezekiel with Ellin by name,
From dancing by no means would cease.
Brisk Francis as blithe as the rest,
Or any young Lad in the Town,
Did vow he could not be at rest,
Till to Faith he had gave a green Gown.

The Henry took Hannah by th’ hand,
And call’d to the Music to Play,
Because, you must now understand,
He would Crown her the Queen of May,
And Hugh did with Hester come by,
But at first he began for to frown;
Till at last on the Grass did they lie,
And he gave her a bonny green Gown.

With John then fair Isabel appear’d,
And look’d both as fresh as a Rose:
And James with his Judith drew near,
To be merry themselves they dispose,
And Kit with his Katy did follow,
Who gave to the fiddler a crown;
He matter’d not Mars nor Apollo,
But gave to his Kate a green Gown.

Then Lawrence on Lucy did smile,
For she had a very fine grace,
He said, in a hundred long mile,
He ne’r see such a pretty sweet face.
And Leonard with Lettice was pleased,
For Dancing to challenge the Town,
And his Passion could not be appeased
Till he gave his true Love a green Gown.

Next Matthew and Margaret fair
To this jolly meeting did come:
And Miles and his Mary were there
exceedingly praised by some.
Nathaniel and Nell led a Dance too
that could not be mended in Town,
his Courage he then did advance too,
and gave to his Love a green Gown.

Oliver, Osmund and Owen,
by chance of this meeting did hear
As they to Fair was going,
For it was the Prime of the Year.
And Peter and Paul they came thither,
Left Prudens and Patiens in Town,
But as last they were all got together,
Each Lad gave his Las a green Gown.

Ralph Richard and Robert, brave fellows,
With Rose, Ruth and Rachel did joyn,
And when they began to be mellow,
They call’d for a Bottle of Wine.
Then Samuel and Sarah did tipple,
While Tom and Tabitha sat down;
And when they had rested a little
Each man gave his Lass a green Gown.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The West-Country Revell
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jun 21 - 09:38 AM

One simple cliche doesn't even warrant 'bawdy' let alone 'very bawdy'.
There are infinitely more explicit pieces than this from the same era.
I have 30 pieces that include the 'green gown' theme.

I'm sure I have this one somewhere but not under that title. Thanks for the heads up anyway.

Moggie's Jealousy is in Simpson.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The West-Country Revell
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jun 21 - 09:53 AM

Nice playing and singing, Daniel. Is that a bouzouki? If you want a look at the original tune PM me your email address.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The West-Country Revell
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: 08 Jun 21 - 02:38 AM

Hi Steve,

Yes, I did realize after posting that 'very bawdy' was a long bow to draw.

Someone on Facebook sent be a link to the original tune, and I have included it in the video description.

I am playing a cheap Hora bouzouki (octave strung) in the video.

Would be great to know if this song is commonly known in another form or by another name, my search for snippets of the lyrics came up with nothing.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The West-Country Revell
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jun 21 - 02:10 PM

None of my other Green Gown songs match this exactly, but there are lots of similar pieces, some in Douce even.

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