Page:A book of the west; being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall.djvu/53

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29
MUSIC

Mr. Heath, of Redruth, published two collections from Cornwall and one from Devon, the latter from the Lifton store in part, to which I had directed his attention. I cannot doubt that some of the popular tunes that are found circulating among our old singers — or to be more exact, were found — were the composition of these ancient village musicians. Alas ! the American organ and the strident har- monium came in and routed out the venerable representatives of a musical past ; and the music- hall piece is now driving away all the sound old traditional melody, and the last of the ancient con- servators of folk-song makes his bow, and says:—

" I be going, I reckon, full mellow,
To lay in the churchyard my head,
So say — God be wi' you, old fellow !
The last of the zingers is dead."

Note. —For the history of Devon : Worth (R. N.), History of Devonshire. London, 1886. For Devonshire dialect : Hewett (S.), The Peasant Speech of Devon. E. Stock. London, 1892. For Devon- shire folk -music: Songs of the West, Methuen. London, 1895. (3rd ed. } A Garland of Country Song. Methuen. London, 1895.
For most of what has been said above on the folk-songs of Devon I am indebted to the Rev. H. Fleetwood Sheppard, who has made it his special study.