Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Being the Day of all Fools ...

Well, we'd better learn this song for Friday ...

From the album Folk Songs of Old England, (vol.1,) Topic Records, 1968.

The first printed version of this song appeared in Deuteromelia which was the second part of Pleasant Roundelayes, Delightful Catches, Freeman's Songs published by Thomas Ravenscroft of the Seven Dials in 1609. The theme is the degradation of drink, the master drinking out of the can and telling tall stories, whilst his servant drinking from the cup mocks him. In verse 2 the “Man in the Moon” is King Henry VIII and the man standing in St. Peter's shoes is the Pope. To clout in Old English means to mend; thus it was unlikely so see Henry VIII patching up his differences with the Pope as it was to see a cheese eat a rat.
(Thanks to http://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/whosthefoolnow.html)

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