Phillida Flouts Me

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PHILLIDA FLOUTS ME. AKA - "Phillida." English, Air (3/8 time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBC. The 16th century ballad "Phillida flouts me; or, The Country Lovers Complaint" appears in printed broadside sheets (it is in the Roxburghe collection) and in John Watts' Musical Miscellany vol. 2 (1729). The air was the melody for songs in The Quaker's Opera (1728), Love in a Riddle (1729), and Damon and Phillida (1734). Chappell notes that Walton's Angler (1653) references the tune when the Milkwoman asks, "What song was it, I pray? Was it 'Come Shepherds, deck your heads', or 'As the noon Dulcina rested', or 'Phillida flouts me'?" The tune was also called "Love one another," derived from a song called "The Protestant Exhortation," published by John Playford in 1680, though in a "ruder and therefore probably earlier version of the one given" (in his Popular Music of the Olden Times, vol 2).

An illustration by English artist Walter Crane (1845-1915) for the songbook Pan Pipes [1] (1883)

O what a plague is love! I cannot bear it,
She will inconstant prove, I greatly fear it.
It so torments my mind, That my heart faileth,
She wavers with the wind, As a ship saileth.
Please her the best I may, She loves still to gainsay,
A-lack, and well aday! Phillida flouts me.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times, vol. 2), 1859; p. 133. Doyle (Plain Brown Tune Book), 1997; p. 33.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Hear a 1928 recording of the ballad sung by English tenor John Coates on [2] and at the Internet Archive [3]

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