As blyth as a linnet
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AS BLYTH AS THE LINNET. English, Air (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The song was composed by Charles Burney for the opera Robin Hood, staged in London in 1750 as an afterpiece to Ben Jonson's comedy The Alchemist. "As Blythe as the linnet sings in the green wood" is the opening song, sung by Robin Hood in the role of a trickster whose goal is to unit two lovers. The title character was played by tenor James Beard, famous for his performances in Handel's operas and oratorios. It was only one of three songs printed from the opera, and later was issued on song sheets. The first stanza begins:
As blyth as the linnet sings in the green wood,
So blyth we'll wake, we'll wake the morn,
So blyth we'll wake the morn;
And thro' the wide forest of merry Sherwood,
We'll wind the bugle bugle horn,
We'll wind the bugle horn.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Hinton (The London Magazine, or Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer), 1755; p. 444 . Charles & Ann Thompson (A Tutor for the Hautboy), London, 1758; p. 23.