Grim King of the Ghosts

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GRIM KING OF THE GHOSTS. English, Air (6/8 time). G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. This air appears in Watts' Musical Miscellany (1729), Pills to Purge Melancholy (vol. VI, 1720), and ballad operas such as John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1729, where it appears as "Can love be controlled by advice") and Watts' The Devil to Pay, or the Wives Metamorphos'd (1731). Chappel records that the air usually caries the title "The Lunatick Lover; or, The Young Man's call to Grim King of the Ghosts for cure: to an excellent new tune," and appears in the Pepys, Douce, and Roxburghe Collections. Other songs written to the melody include N. Rowe's "Colin's Complaint," "Hail the the murtle shades," "The Protestant's Joy," "The Father's Wholesome Admonition," and "The Subjects' Satisfaction." "Colin's Complaint" was so well-known that it generated frequent parodies.

Grim King of the Ghosts! Make haste,
And bring hither all your train;
See how the pale moon does waste,
And just now is in the wane.
Come, you night hags, with all your charms,
And revelling witches, away;
And hug me close in your arms,
To you my respects I'll pay.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times), vol. 2, 1859; p. 129. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 157. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 52.

Recorded sources:




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