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The Greenside Wakes Song

[The wakes, feasts, or tides of the North of England, were originally religious festivals in honour of the saints to whom the parish churches were dedicated. But now-a-days, even in Catholic Lancashire, all traces of their pristine character have departed, and the hymns and prayers by which their observance was once hallowed have given place to dancing and merry-making. At Greenside, near Manchester, during the wakes, two persons, dressed in a grotesque manner, the one a male, the other a female, appear in the village on horseback, with spinning-wheels before them; and the following is the dialogue, or song, which they sing on these occasions.]


Gloucestershire Wassailers' Song

[It is still customary in many parts of England to hand round the wassail, or health-bowl, on New-Year's Eve. The custom is supposed to be of Saxon origin, and to be derived from one of the observances of the Feast of Yule. The tune of this song is given in Popular Misic. It is a universal favourite in Gloucestershire, particularly in the neighbourhood of
'Stair on the wold,
Where the winds blow cold,'
as the old rhyme says.]


Old Wichet and His Wife

[This song still retains its popularity in the North of England, and, when sung with humour, never fails to elicit roars of laughter. A Scotch version may be found in Herd's Collection, 1769, and also in Cunningham's Songs of England and Scotland, London, 1835. We cannot venture to give an opinion as to which is the original; but the English set is of unquestionable antiquity. Our copy was obtained from Yorkshire. It has been collated with one printed at the Aldermary press, and preserved in the third volume of the Roxburgh Collection. The tune is peculiar to the song.]


Wooing Song of a Yeoman of Kent's Sonne

[The following song is the original of a well-known and popular Scottish song:-
'I hae laid a herring in saut;
Lass, 'gin ye lo'e me, tell me now!
I ha'e brewed a forpit o' maut,
An' I canna come ilka day to woo.'
There are modern copies of our Kentish Wooing Song, but the present version is taken from Melismata, Musical Phansies Fitting the Court, Citie, and Countree. To 3, 4, and 5 Voyces. London, printed by William Stansby, for Thomas Adams, 1611. The tune will be found in Popular Music, I., 90. The words are in the Kentish dialect.]

The Young Man's Wish

[From an old copy, without printer's name; probably one from the Aldermary Church-yard press. Poems in triplets were very popular during the reign of Charles I., and are frequently to be met with during the Interregnum, and the reign of Charles II.]

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