Cupid's Trepan

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CUPID'S TREPAN. AKA and see "Cupid's Trappan," "Up the Green Forest," "Bonny Bonny Bird," "Brave Boys," "Twitcher (The)," "Damsel I'm Told (A)," "I Have Left the World as the World Found Me." English, Air (6/8 time). G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. A trepan was an old surgical proceedure involving boring a hole (or holes) into the skull to relieve cranial pressure, though (as Michael Robinson maintains) in this case it more likely means a 'trap' or "a kind of device." Chappell (1859) asserts this was once a very popular ballad tune and the vehicle for numerous songs, the earliest of which date to the reign of Charles II. Alternate titles appear above and appear in the Roxburghe Collection, Musical Companion (1741), St. Cecilia; or, The British Songster (1782). Another ballad sung to the tune and found in the Douce and Ewing Colletion is called "Cupid's Trappan, or The Scorner scorned, or The Willow turned into Carnation: described in The Ranting Resolution of a Forsaken Maid. To a pleasant new tune now all in fashion."

Once I did love a bonny brave bird,
And though he had been all my own;
But he lov'd another far better than me,
And has taken his flight and is flown, Brave Boys,
And has taken his flight and is flown.

Chappell's version is taken from the opera Flora (1729), The Devil to Pay, "And many other Ballad Operas."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 2), 1859; p. 149.

Recorded sources:




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