On the Cold Ground

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ON THE COLD GROUND. AKA and see "I Prithee Love Turn to Me." English, Song Air (6/4 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The air appears in Playford's Dancing Master of 1665 (Supplement to the 3rd edition, p. 48), Musick's Delight on the Cithern (1666), and Apollo's Banquet for the Treble Violin (1669). The tune was ascribed to Matthew Lock, while the words were written by Sir William Davenant for the play The Rivals, performed around the year 1664. It was sung by the 'mad shepherdess.' The tune was popular and used for other ballads, including: "The Courteous Health; or, The Merry Boys of the Times", "The Old Man's Complaint; or, The Unequal-macht Couple", "Wit bought at a dear rate," and "The Faithful Lover's Farewell; or, Private News from Chatham," all appearing it the Roxburghe collection, though "many more" appear in other collections. At some point Lock's tune was discarded and, around the year 1775, a new tune was substituted, one familiar today as "My Lodging is on the Cold Cold Ground."

The Fleishmann index (1998) states that Lock's tune was the precursor for "Rosin the Beau" and attributes Irish origins for it. Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote verses to it, beginning "Behold, my love, how green the groves."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barlow (The Complete Country Dances from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 187, p. 51. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 2), 1859; pp. 137-138.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
See/hear versions on youtube.com [1]




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