Back to Walsingham
WALSINGHAM. English, Ballad Air (3/2 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The air appears in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Lady Neville's Virginal Book, Dorothy Welde's Lute Book, Barley's New Book of Tabliture (1596), and Holborne's Cithren Schole (1597). William Chappell (1859) states that, although the ballad and air in its earliest versions date from the latter 16th century, it is probable "they originally were composed before 1538, the years in which the Priory of Walsingham was disolved." Our Lady of Walshingham was a once famous shrine in England, and attracted pilgrims from throughout the land from the reign of Henry III on. Chappell goes on to say that the tune is frequently mentioned in 16th and 17th century accounts, and, curiously, was commonly taught to singing birds.
As I went to Walsingham, to the shrine with speed,
Met I with a jolly palmer, In a pilgrim’s weed.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times, vol. 1), 1859; p. 69.