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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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This interesting song has two printed versions. One is in David Herd’s Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs and the other is in Convivial Songster. The text presented here was found written on a fly-leaf of Dryden’s Miscellany (1716), the finder supposing it to be the original song. The tune is probably late seventeenth century.
There was a jolly miller once Lived on the river Dee; He work’d and sang from morn till night, No lark more blithe than he. And this the burden of his song For ever used to be— I care for nobody, no, not I, If nobody cares for me.
The reason why he was so blithe, He once did thus unfold— The bread I eat my hands have earn’d; I covet no man’s gold; I do not fear the next quarter-day; In debt to none I be. I care for nobody, no, not I, If nobody cares for me.
A coin or two I’ve in my purse To help a needy friend; A little I can give the poor, And still have some to spend. Though I may fail, yet I rejoice, Another’s good hap to see. I care for nobody, no, not I, If nobody cares for me.
So let us his example take, And be from malice free; Let every one his neighbour serve, As served he’d like to be. And merrily push the can about, And drink and sing with glee; If nobody cares a doit for us, Why not a doit care we.