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beauty which testifies to both the æs- er honor than among the Irish. Their thetic and moral vigor of the people's profession was a hereditary privilege, youth. Frederick I of Germany could allowed only to members of illustrious have found no surer way to the popular families; and many of their ballads, heart, especially of succeeding ages, than which were devoted chiefly to the meby his love and cultivation of his na- mory of national achievements, still retive tongue, which enforced the use of main sources of the materials of Irish the German of the twelfth century "for history. But the legend of St. Patrick, all court and state purposes," and en according to which he destroyed three couraged the rising attempts of German hundred volumes of ancient Irish songs song. " The ruins of his palace at Geln- in his zealous determination to root out haussen,” says a writer upon the Min- all antique superstitions inconsistent nesingers, are said still to carry with with Christianity, at once reveals the them the traditional attachment of the former national fecundity in song, and neighborhood; and en in the dark reminds us of the present comparative recesses of the Hartz forest, the legend paucity of Irish folk-music. Ireland's places him in a subterranean palace in melodies are not very many in number, the caverns of the Kyffaus mountain, and, though characteristic and often his beard flowing on the ground, and very pleasing, seldom or never reveal himself reposing in a trance upon his much depth of mental or moral experimarble throne, awakening only at inter- ence. England has an unequalled store vals to reward any votary of song who of ballads, which are most delicious poseeks his lonely court." (Taylor, “ Lays etry and by far the noblest specimens of the Minnesingers,” p. 99.) Songs of of heroic lyrics that any tongue possesswarlike deeds were always the delightes; but the melodies to which minstrels of the ancient Germans; and when Lud- sung them have died out of the popular wig the Pious tried to banish the songs memory and usage; nor have they been recounting the legends of barbarous and succeeded, speaking generally, by any heathen lore, the love of song, it was other folk-songs of musical value. An found, could not be subdued; and it exception is the well-known beautiful was found necessary to supply the peo- air of Ben Jonson's song, “ Drink to Me ple with metrical versions of the New only with Thine Eyes"—the many efforts Testament and of Scripture stories, in to discover the composer of which have order to wean them from their old he- been unsuccessful, although it dates only roic ballads.
from the last century. England, howThe two lands which surpass all others ever, whatever may be its popular musifor beauty, richness, and variety of popu- cal status now, has had its thriving lar songs, are Germany and Scotland. time of folk-songs and of general musiThe romantic lyre of Provence be- cal culture. A song which has descended queathed little or nothing. France and from about the middle of the thirteenth Spain have each a highly characteristic century presents the first example of music, but small in quantity and inferior secular music in parts (it was elaboratein depth. The Irish music has many ly harmonized in six parts) which has charms investing an unmistakable in- been found in any country. The foldividuality. Nowhere, in the ancient lowing is the melody, with the words days, were bards and poets held in high- modernized :
bloweth mead, And springeth wood anew, Sing cuckoo! Ewe bleateth after lamb, Lows
aft - er calf the cow;
Bul-lock start-eth, Buck to fern goes, Mer- ry sing cuc
cuc - koo! cuc-koo! Well sing'st thou, cuckool Nor cease thou ev-er
Although a law of Queen Elizabeth No barber-shop was complete without pronounced minstrels to be “rogues, thelute, cittern, and virginals, wherewith vagabonds, and sturdy beggars," music customers might amuse themselves while seems to have been much esteemed and waiting their turns. To read music at cultivated during that Queen's long sight was an essential in a gentlewomreign. The minor air, Which Nobody an's education, and lute-strings were can Deny, dating from that time, is still common New-Year's gifts to ladies. popular and yet flourishes as a street- “Some idea of the number of ballads song in London. In-Chappell's “Music that were printed in the early part of of the Olden Time," to which work we the reign of Elizabeth, may be formed are indebted for our specimens of old from the fact that seven hundred and English song, there are some pages of ninety-six ballads, left for entry at Stainteresting and curious details illustra- tioners' Hall, remained in the cupboard tive of the prominence of music in the of the council-chamber of the company sixteenth century.
Musical abilities at the end of the year 1560, to be transwere advertised among the qualifica- ferred to the new wardens, and only tions of persons wishing to be servants, forty-four books." apprentices, or farmers. An impostor A characteristic and admirable little who pretended to be a shoemaker was melody is one referred to by Shakespeare detected because he could not “sing, in Love's Labor's Lost, Act IV, Scene 1: sound the trumpet, play upon the flute, Rosalind.-Shall I come upon thee nor reckon up his tools in rhyme." Each with an old saying, that was a man trade had its special songs, and the beg- when King Pepin of France was a little gars also had theirs. The fine whistling boy, as touching the hit it? of carmen became proverbial. Base- Boyet. -So I may answer thee with viols hung in the parlors for the conve- one as old, that was a woman when nience of waiting guests, and were even Queen Guinever of Britain was a little played upon by ladies in James' reign. wench, as touching the hit it.
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it, Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
can - not, can - not, can - not, An' I
can-not, an - oth - er can.
We will give one more specimen we give only one stanza, is Cupid's for its great beauty—a charming minor Courtesie, or, The Young Gallant Foiled melody. Payne Collier professes to at His Own Weapon. To a most pleashave seen it in a manuscript dated ant Northern tune.” The following is 1595. The title of the ballad, of which the melody:
Through the cool shad-y woods As I
rang - ing, I heard the
But however pleasing many of the old tation” compared to American or even English songs may be, however original English activity. When an intelligent also, we must recur to our previous state- lady, of simple tastes and poetic culment that, of all countries, Scotland and ture, returned recently from Germany Germany stand preëminent for folk-mus- and landed in New York, she remarked ic; and if we consider not only the num- that she had not encountered any thing ber, richness, and beauty of these songs, during her absence so fatiguing to her but their present vitality in their fa- whole being, physical and spiritual, as therlands, and indeed all over the earth the mere sight of Broadway; and she 'where men are sensible to refined music, assured us that no words could do jusGermany and Scotland appear so to sur- tice to the contrast between that whirlpass all other countries in this respect, ing, dizzy torrent and the limpid repose that, in comparison, hardly any other of Dresden. Goethe says of his grandcan be said to have any people’s-music father: "In his room I never saw a at all. The superiority of these two novelty. I recollect no form of existexists, however, with this striking dif- ence that ever gave me, to such a deference between them, that the Scottish gree, the feeling of unbroken calm and people's-songs appear like a case of ar- perpetuity.” Therefore German music rested development, since they exist un- has a serenity and placid depth, a restaccompanied by any high art. Not- fulness and repose, which come like a withstanding the beauty, the witchery, voice or memory recalling childhood's the originality and undeniable genius home, and fold the soul again upon the of the Scotch people’s-music, Scotland bosom of maternal peace. But German never produced a great composer or ex- life, too, has been a tragedy, a battle for hibited any scientific musical activity or freedom; the Fatherland has been inpower; while above the people's-songs vaded by Frenchmen, and the young of Germany towers that wonderful and men went to war. Therefore German sublime art with which all the world is people's-music is on fire with fervent familiar as the grandest musical expres- patriotism and martial sacrifice. The sion of the human soul. Between the Fatherland! the Fatherland ! rings like charms of the Scottish and German peo- a clarion through it; it is tender and ple's-songs we shall not venture to de- thrilling, too, with the rapture of pascide authoritatively or dogmatically. sionate partings, devoted deaths or glad But, for ourselves, we must own that we returns. And in the whole circle of its find the shadow or the light of every subjects and passions, from the quiet mood of mind and soul reflected in the contemplation of nature to patriotic German music as we find it nowhere and martial pride, there is one thing else. It plays upon the pulses to quick- that this music always is—it is always en or subdue like a beloved face, so believing in tone; there is not a skeptical complete is the human nature and hu- song, not a faithless refrain, not a mel. man life on all its sides, that floats on ody or note of moral indifference or this wonderful Amazon of melody and hopelessness in these people's-songs, so harmony. German life, in its habits, far as we have become acquainted with manners, tastes, and feelings, is a deep them. “In his songs and in his leccalm, partly philosophic, partly patri- tures,” it has been said, “the German archal. Their most populous and most dreams of making a heaven of earth.” busy cities “are quiet haunts for medi- A kind of glow is cast over all common
things and daily life; nature is beauti- on the espousals of a country parson's ful in the common landscapes of the daughter. Even Freiligrath softens the Fatherland. The hunter's life and the music of his verse when he sings of song of the shepherd-bog ; the sleeping the old pictured Bible’ in his father's babe and the quiet of the night; friend- house." ship and companionship; domestic From collections comprising several peace and modest content; the delights thousands of the German folk-songs of social pleasure and the German beer- which we have pored over again and mug; the dance and common stories; again in leisure hours with ever-new all these are sung with a certain warm delight, we take a half dozen melodies, heartiness and cheer, a simple good faith selecting specimens illustrating a few and belief in human nature and pleasure of the different kinds or classes which in things as we find them; a sensitive- this music presents, and translating the ness to the lovely side of common things songs which are sung to them in their and the exalted side of lowly things, Fatherland. that comes like a benediction to the A trait of German song is its exubertired and disappointed, and sings the ance of love for the beautiful and joy in heart into “leisure from itself," to soothe nature's perfections. There are countand sympathize. " One of the most less songs which are only strains of joy amiable characteristics of German poet- "floating on in buoyancy of spirit and ry,” says a writer, “is its celebration of glowing with general delight in natural the domestic affections. Goethe has objects, in the bursting promise of given us a domestic epic in his 'Her- spring, or the luxuriant profusion of mann and Dorothea,' and Voss, in his summer.” The following is such a song Luise,' has produced a popular idyl of joy:
2-4 1. Love-ly spring, o come thou bith-er, Spring beloved, O come & -gain; Bring us
blossoms, leaves and singing, Deck a. gain the field and plain,
s La la la la
La la la, &c.
Of a similar nature is the following the secluded freedom of pastoral life beautiful song in praise of the shep- with admiration and with something, herd's life. There is a certain earnest of the shepherd's own free elasticity, air about this melody and its fitly-wed- yet with a quiet and half-sad undertone ded words, as if it might be sung by a of feeling, showing that the heavy regood and true-souled man weary and sponsibilities cannot be readily shaken worn with the world's cares, beholding off.
1. O shep-herd-boy, 0 shep-herd-boy, Thou sing'st so fresh and free,
from tby ver-dant mountain side Thy cheer- ful mel - 0 dy. 0
| 18t time. | 2d time.
A marked feature, which may almost melody of sleep's deep breath. Here is be said to be peculiar to German song, one of the sweetest that has fallen under so lovingly is it treated, is the “Slum- our notice, and truly an exquisite melber-song," or "Cradle-song," the very ody:
The songs of love among the German was hence extreme-a rage, a fashion, folk-songs have a serene and steady which like other fashions was servile. temperance about both words and music But Tacitus had mentioned the honor which is very attractive. It has been paid to woman by the Germans; and remarked that there is a great difference the spirit of chivalry • only mellowed to be observed between the German ancient sympathies and aroused affeclove-songs and those of the Provençal tions of a purer and more social depoets or Troubadours. Their adoration scription." It was not so much an inof woman was comparatively an inno- novation as a development. The folvation, a reaction from the dishonor in lowing is a tender love-song, with the which she had previously been held. It title,