Pre-1600 English Ballads: The Database

This information was mostly culled from Livingston's British Broadside Ballads of the 16th Century: A Catalogue of the Extant Sheets and an Essay. I typed in info about all the ballads for which music is known. In addition, there are non-broadside ballads, but I haven yet to find a good index of them.

Facsimile and transcription sources not yet mentioned in the bibliography:

Bannatyne, George, comp. MS. Advocates 1.1. 6 ("The Bannatyne Manuscript"). 1568.

__. Ed. James Barclay Murdoch. 4 vols. Hunterian Club, 1896.

__. Ed. W. Tod Ritchie. 4 vols. Scottish Text Soc. Edinburgh, 1928-34. [ we have this one ]

Harleian Miscellany. Ed. Oldys, William, and Thomas Park. 10 vols. Londaon, 1808-13.

Jenkins, Elizabeth. Elizabeth the Great. London, 1958, New York, 1959.

Kines, Tom, ed. Songs from Shakespeare's Plays and Popular Songs of Shakespeare's Time. New York, 1964. Also a record from 1961, but that just has 5 pages of liner notes...

King, A. Hyatt. "The Significance of John Rastell in Early Music Printing." The Library, 5th Ser. 26 (1971) 197-214.

Rollins, Hyder Edward, ed. A Handfull of Pleasant Delights (1584) by Clement Robinson and Divers Others. 1924. Also reprinted by Dover in 1965.

Wright, Thomas, ed. Songs and Ballads, with Other Short Poems, Chiefly of the Reign of Philip and Mary, Roxburghe Club, 1860. [ my library has some other books by this author in the rare books section.]


num=5
title=[a wey mornyng]
sub=love song
source=king p. 199
note=fragment

num=56
title=The panges of Loue and louers fttes
sub=love song
tune=King Solomon, BBB, p 410
source=in all 3 editions of The Bannatyne Manuscript

[ transcribe. my library has a 1928 edition ]

num=75
title=A Newe Ballad e
sub=Encomium of Elizabeth and a warning against papists
tune=King Solomon, BBB, p 410
source=Harleian Miscellany, X, 262-263; E Jenkins, p. 61

num=76
note=similar to 75.
source=Lilly, pp. 30-32. A. Huth Bequest Cat. Pt. III, No. 2 (1 st.)

num=81
title=The complaint of a sinner
sub=sermon
tune=The Gods of Love, BBB, p. 260
source=Collmann, No. 7; Rollins, "William Elderton:..." p. 204 (6 ll)

num=82
note=similar to 81.
source=Rollins, "William Elderton:....", p. 204 (6 ll)

num=83
note=similar to 81.
source=Rollins

num=92
title=A songe betwene the Quenes maiestie and Englande
sub=dialogue between elizabeth and england, set as love song
tune=[Kines, p. 54]
source=harl. misc., X, 260-262; Rimbault pp 72-73 (4 st), Chappell (2ll) Gray. p. 74 (facsimile) etc etc Kines has music

[ might be cool, check out the music. have to ILL the book, though :-( ]

num=111
title=A Proper New balad of the Bryber Gehesie
sub=sermon against bribery
tune=Kynge Salomon BBB p. 410-412
source=Lilly p. 42-45

num=114
title=A Newe Ballade of a Louer / Extollinge his Ladye
sub=love song
tune=Damon and Pithias BBB 157-59, was printed with music
source=Lilly pp. 24-25, Ward, pp 167-69 (facsimile), Neuberg 25-28

[ Transcribed from Lilly ]

num=116
title=Of the horyble and woful destruccion of Ierusalem
sub=religious
tune=Queenes Almayne BBB 590-591
source=Collmann, No. 5

num=119
title=A Newe Ballade intytuled, Good Fellowes must go lerne to Daunce.
sub=wedding dance song
tune=manuscript in Bodleian library
source=chappell PMOT I 243, Lilly p. 221-223

[ Transcribed from Lilly. Now how can
I get the manuscript? ]

num=120
title=a proper newe ballad sheweing that Philosophers
sub=exhortation to virtue
tune=lorde marquest galyarde BBB 101-103
source=Lilly 138-140

[ transcribe? ]

num=121
title=A proper new balad in praise of my Ladie Marques, whose Death is bewailed to the Tune of New lusty gallant.
sub=love song, lament for dead sweetheart
tune=New lusty gallant BBB 476-78
source=Chappell PMOT I 91 (1 st) Lilly 14-16 Newberg 28-30

[ Transcribed from Lilly ]

num=127
title=A godly ditty or Prayer [...]
sub=anti-papist prayer
tune=137 psalm, BBB 585
source=Lilly, p121-123

num=132
title=A lamentation from Rome
sub=rebellion in the north XXX
tune=Rowe well ye Mariners, BBB 618-619
source=Collier, OB, 68-72; Chappell PMOT I 112-114 (5 st, music),
Richardson II 154-157; Collmann #75

num=133
title=A ballad Intituled, a Newe well a day
sub=rebellion in the north XXX
tune=Welladay, BBB 747-48
source=Lilly 1-5

num=137
title=Prepare ye to the Plowe
sub=Exhortation to support the Queen against papistry
tune=Pepper is blacke BBB 575
source=Lilly 174-178

num=145
name=Against Rebellious and false Rumors
sub=exhortation against talking about rising in the north
tune=Blacke Almaine, upon Scissillia BBB 42-43
source=Lilly 239-243

num=146
title=A Letter to Rome
sub=execution of John Felton
tune=Row well ye Mariners BBB 618-619
source=Collier OB 64-68, Collmann # 70; Rollins & Baker 251-252

num=147
part of 146

num=150
title=The end and Confession of Ion Felton
sub=execution of John Felton
tune=Row Well Ye Mariners BBB 618-619
source=Collmann # 50

num=151
title=A proper new balade expressyng the fames
sub=Exhortations for ladies to gather the rosebuds of virtue
tune=Blacke almaine BBB 42-43
source=Collier OB 52-56, Collmann #71

[ transcribed from Collmann ]

num=156
title=A very proper dittie: to the tune of Lightie loue
sub=love song
tune=Lightie loue BBB 447-448, Kines 44-45
source=Lilly 113-117

[ Transcribed from Lilly ]

num=172
title=A pleasant posie, or sweete Nosegay...
sub=Religious
tune=black Almayne BBB 42-43
source=Lilly 5-8

num=185
title=A warning to London by the fall of Antwerp
sub=battle
tune=Rovv vvel ye Mariners BBB 618-619
source=Collier, OB 89-92, Collmann #69 (facsimile), Peseants All (recording & jacket text)

[ transcribed from Collmann ]

num=186
title=A worth Myrrour, wherin ye may marke
sub=AEsopian fable
tune=new Rogero BBB 612-614
source=RB I 464, Collier ABC I 44, Chappell RB III 86-93

[ same as 230, which I have transcribed? ]

num=187
title=A prayer, and also a thankesgiuing...
sub=Prayer for the queen on the anniversery of her accession
tune=XXXI psalme BBB 584-585
source=Collier BB=LB 16-20

num=188
same as 187

num=192
title=a newe Ballade, decrying the dangerous shootyng of the Gunne at the Courte
sub=near-shooting of the queen
tune=Sicke and sicke BBB 660-661
source=Harl Misc X 272-27

num=200
title=A new Ballad, declaring the Treason [...]
sub=attempted murder of James IV
tune=Milfield, or els to Greenesleeues BBB 268-78, 493
source=Percy, Reliques (1765+). Harl Misc X, 266-267, Child No. 180, Appendix.

num=206
title=1583. ANN. Foelicissimi Regni Reginae Elizabeth : XXVI
sub=Anniversary encomium in praise of Elizabeth
tune=printed with music
source=O'Kill, pp 32-33 (only 1.5 stanzas...)

num=208
title=The Lamentation of England
sub=execution of a traitor
tune=Weepe, weepe. BBB 660-661
source=Collier RB 127-134; Collier BB=LB 21-28

num=209
title=A ballade of an Invective againste such runningate papistes...
sub=anti-paist sermon
tune=Sicke, sicke BBB 660-661
source=none other than the original ?

num=209.1
same as 209

num=210
title=A famous dittie of the Ioyful ..
sub=Queen's passage through London
tune=Wigmores Galliard BBB 783-785
source=Lilly 182-186

num=213
title=A most joyfull Songe, made in the behalf...
sub=execution of traitors (babbington plot)
tune=O man in desperation BBB 533-536
sourceMann, Deloney 460-464

num=214
title=A proper new Ballad, breefely declaring the Death and Execution...
sub=execution of traitors (Babbington plot)
tune=Weep weep BBB 660-661
source=Collier OB 101-106, Collier BB=LB 36-41, Hindley _Curiosities_
II 164; Mann, _Deloney_ 464-468.

num=216
title=A godlie Dittie to be song for the preseruation of the Queenes most exclent Maiesties raigne
sub=Prayer for the Queen
tune=printed with music
source=Harl Misc X 278, Farr LXXXIV (reprinted from Harl)

num=217b
title=A briefe sonet declaring the lamentation of Beckles
sub=disasterous fire
tune=Labandalashotte BBB 418
source=one copy of many reprinted in Collmann #87

num=220
title=A ioyful nevv Ballad, declaring the happie obtaining of the great Galleazzo...
sub=defeat of 2 ships in the Armada
tune=Mounseurs Almaigne BBB 495-496
source=Halliwell, Three Old Ballads on the Overthrow of the Spanish
Armada 19-29, Collier BB=LB 79-86, Ebsworth RB VI 384-386, Arber _An
English Garner_ VII 39-45, Pollard _Tudor Tracts_ VI 485-91, Firth
_Naval Songs and Ballads_, 18-21, Mann _Deloney_ 468-473, Peasants All
(recording and jacket text)

[ Transcribe. Now Halliwell would be nice to have, but our library
doesn't have this one, and neither does UNC's. Don't have the Firth
one either. This one we can get out of RB IV. ]

num=221
title=The Queenes visiting of the Campe at Tilsburie with her
entertainment there
sub=Queen's review of the troops
tune=Wilsons Wilde BBB 791-792
source=Halliwell TOBotOotSA 9-18, Ebsworth RB IV 390-393, Arber VII
46-51, Pollard VI 492-497, Mann Deloney, 474-478, McClure 173-173,
Peasants All (recording and jacket text)

num=223
title=A warning to all false Traitors by example of the 14...
sub=execution of Catholics
tune=Greensleeues BBB 268-278
source=Collier BB=LB 57-62, Peasants All (recording & jacket text)

num=228
title=The Lamentation of Follie:
sub=social satire
tune=New Rogero BBB 612-614
source=Collier OB 45-49, Collmann #43

[ Transcribed from Collmann ]

num=229
title=A pleasant new Ballad of the mery Miller of Mansfield...
sub=fictional tale of the king in disguise talking to a peasant
tune=French Lau[alto] BBB 237-238
source=buttloads. Child #273 appendix III

num=230
title=A worthy Mirrour, wherein you may Marke...
sub=AEsopian fable
tune=new Rogero BBB 612-614
source=Collier OB 92-101, Collier ABC I 44, Collman # 10

[ Transcribed from Collmann ]

num=234
title=A mournfull Dittie on the death of certaine Iudges...
sub=plauge deaths
tune=Fourtune BBB 225-231
source=Lilly p. 197-200

num=235
title=A merie newe Ballad intituled the pinnying of the Basket:
sub=war between the sexes
tune=Done right Squire BBB 194-196
source=Lilly 105-11
note=there are 3 earlier ballads to this tune! noted in BBB

[ Transcribed from Lilly ]

num=236
title=A merry new Song how a Bruer meant to make a Cooper cuckold
sub=Bawdy song
tune=In somer time (not known, but see BBB373-375 for alternates)
source=Lilly 60-63

[ transcribed from lilly ]

num=237
title=A Ditty delightfull of mother watkins ale
sub=baudy song
tune=Watkins Ale BBB 475-476
source=Lilly 251-255, Ebsworth RB VII (Pt. III)

[ transcribed from Lilly ]

num=247
title=The wonderfull example of God shewed vpon Iasper Coningham
sub=religious narrative
tune=O neighbour Robert BBB 86, 467-71
source=Chappell RB III 103-110, Ashton 94-100, Rollins PB III #128,
Holloway _Euing_ #399. All of these are reprints of 17c reprints of
this ballad.