Mischievous Bee (The)
X:1 T:Mischievous Bee, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S:Harding's All Round Collection (1905), No. 111 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C E/F/|GAG GAB|cce c2G|GFE GFE|ADD D2 E/F/| GAG GAB|cce c2c|BAG AGA|BGG G2G|| GAG FGF|EFE D2G|GcG FdF|EcE D2(E/F/)| GAG GAB|ccd e2G|AAd GAB|cGe c2||
MISCHIEVOUS BEE, THE. English, Air and Jig. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "The Mischievous Bee" is a song sung by Miss (Maria Rebecca) Duncan (1783-1858) in the comedy Time's a Tell-tale, written by Henry Siddons with music by Dublin-born singer, composer and theater-manager Michael Kelly (or Kelley) (1762-1826). The play was staged in 1807 at the Theatre-Royal, Drury Lane (see also the eponymous air from the play, "Time's a Tell Tale"). The lyric begins:
Little Cupid one day o'er a myrtle bough stray'd
And among the sweet blossoms he wantonly play'd
Plucking many a leaf from buds of the tree,
He felt that his finger was stung by a Bee.
Cupid then asks for "revenge on the mischievous bee" from his mother, Venus. The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure (London, 1807, p. 446) reviewed it:
The song before us has certainly a pleasing melody, and is well adapted to the piano-forte, but we think it has not a strict claim to originality. The words are translated from Anacreon, and possess (as a translation) considerable merit.
The song was popular and appears in collections and song-sheets on both sides of the Atlantic through the mid-19th century.