Daily (?) Captain Cox: “Hey ding a ding”…and Some Lost Works

Of the next four ballads listed,   “Over A Whinny, Meg”,   “Bonny Lass Upon A Green”,   and “My Bonny One Gave Me A Beck” were not extant in Mr. Furnivall’s day, and a  cursory Internet search does not lead to any further information regarding them now    :::sad face:::


PEDIGREE:   Scholars, including Furnivall, link this item in Laneham’s letter to a ballad properly titled “Old Simon the King” of which “Hey Ding a Ding” forms much of the refrain / burden.

William Chappell (see below) cites the earliest surviving printing of the ballad’s music as 1652 in “Musick’s Recreation on the Lyra Viol”.     However, he begins his section on “Earlier Seventeenth-Century Dance Tunes” (of which “Old Simon The King” is the first ballad) with these words:    “Although the tunes which follow could not properly be included in any earlier division of this work, since none are to be met with before the middle of the century, the greater number of them probably had their origins in the reign of Elizabeth, and the first three may be even older still.”    This deduction may have come about because of lyric fragments or song titles referenced, without lyric or tune, in earlier writings such as Laneham’s letter.    The song’s entry in the other secondary source below (from the Percy folio) refers to a play of 1618, and a book printed circa 1580, containing verses very similar to those in Percy’s manuscript.


SYNOPSIS:   This is a drinking song, complete with assertions that everyone drinks, and the singer gives not a fig for anyone who disagrees:

(verse 1)
In an humor I was of late as many good fellows be,

That thinke of no matter of state, but the keep merry Companye;

That best might please my mind, so I walket up & down the towne;

But company none could I find till I came to the signe of the Crowne.

Mine (h)ostess was sicke of the mumpes, her maid was fissle at ease,

Mine host lay drunke in his dumpes:   “They all had but one disease,”

Says old Simon the King, the King, sayes old Simon the King.

With a hey ding ding a ding, ding,

With a hey ding ding a ding, ding,

With a hey ding ding, quoth Simon the King.


AVAILABILITY:     The tune and lyrics for “Old Simon The King” are in  separate works:      A copy of William Chappell’s Old English Popular Music has the tune here:   http://books.google.com/books?id=FKkQAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

An appendix to Furnivall and James Hale’s “Bishop Percy’s Folio Manuscript” titled “Loose and Humorous Songs”    lists the lyrics from the Percy Folio for “Old Simon The King” here:  http://books.google.com/books?id=D_8FAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

It appears near the very end of the book, not listed in the Table of Contents, on page 124.


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