O good ale thou art my darling
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O, GOOD ALE, THOU ART MY DARLING. English, Air (4/4 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Chappel records the song [Roud 203] appears on broadside ballads and in The Banquet of Thalia , York, 1792 (p. 77). Frank Kidson (English Songs, 1900, p. 110) remarks that the melody was printed in Cahusac's Pocket Companion for the German Flute, vol. xi, c. 1802, and that it was sung by the clown, Joseph Grimaldi, about the end of the 19th century. The song begins:
The landlord, he looks very big
With his high cock'd hat and his powder'd wig;
Methinks he looks both fair and fat,
But he may thank you and me for that.
For 'tis O, good ale, thou art my darling;
And my joy, both night and morning.
The Copper Family recorded it (Leader LEAB 404, "A Song for Every Season," 1971) with another tune, to which the song is often heard sung nowadays.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 2), 1859; p. 179. Moffat & Kidson (English Songs of the Georgian Period), 1900; p. 110.