Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (The)

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BLIND BEGGAR OF BETHNAL GREEN. English, Air (4/4 time). G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Chappell (1859) remarks that this tune was found under the title "The Cripple" by Dr. Rimbault in a lute MS. written by a celebrated lutenist named Rogers, who lived in the reign of Charles II. Percy dates the tune and ballad from the time of Elizabeth I, and since then numerous ballads have been written to it. Chappell notes that the air is sometimes called "Pretty Bessy/Bessie" from the lyrics at the end of the first verse of "Blind Beggar," and another such ballad which appears in the Roxburghe Collection. There is an entry in Pepys' diary of June 25th, 1663, which records a dinner engagement at Kirby Castle, Sir W. Rider's home at Bednall Green: "This very house was built by the blind Beggar of Bednall Green, so much talked of and sang in ballads; but they say it was only some outhouses of it."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times), vol. 2, 1859; p. 16.

Recorded sources:




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