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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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The Jolly Barber, or The Barber fitted by a Wanton Miss of the Town
Our own title. This ballad is from Penny Merriments, the huge collection of chapbooks left to Magdalene College by Samuel Pepys. The tune called for is ‘The Country Farmer’, also known as ‘The King’s Jig’.
O Did you not hear of a Barber of late,
When walking abroad how he pickt up a mate
It was I must tell you a Girl of the Game,
But yet I declare it, I know not her name.
As she was a-ranging along in the street,
With this jolly Barber she chanced to meet,
He freely did proffer to give her a treat,
But now you shall hear how he met with a cheat.
Away to the Tavern they went in all haste,
A glass of good Wine he resolved to taste,
The Miss was array’d in her Silks and perfume
The tapster he shew’d them a large upper room.
The Barber he then with a noble grace,
Began then to call for Canary apace,
Likewise his kind Miss he began to embrace,
But yet he was soon in a sorrowful case.
The Wine was so strong it got into his head,
Before it was night he must needs go to bed,
With his precious jewel, the joy of his life,
He freely declared they were husband and Wife.
Therefore to his Lodging he posted away,
Which was the next Chamber most gallant and gay,
To sleep with his Miss till the Morning broad day,
But she had another fine project to play.
The Barber no sooner was laid in his bed,
But all his whole senses was perfectly fled,
O now is the time to replenish my stock
While he is a-sleeping as fast as a Rock;
Then out of the bed she straightway arose,
Resolving to take all the best of his Cloaths
His Money, the Tankard, then down stairs she goes,
And where she is gone now there’s no body knows.
Next Morning he finding himself all alone,
He sigh’d and lamenting made pittiful moan,
He found he had lost all the best of his suit,
His Money and likewise the Tankard to boot:
The Shaver was then in a pittiful fear,
For now he was rifled it well did appear.
He knew not what course in the World he should steer,
For sorrow must certainly bring up the rear.
He never before was so serv’d in his life,
Alas, he was forced to send for his Wife,
To bring him some money to pay for the loss,
And thus the poor Barber he met with a cross.
The barber was noble, both gallant and great,
But now he hath paid for his Drinking in plate;
Let all other Shavers be warn’d by his fate
Lest you should be sorry when it is too late.