The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Aboffe all thynge, Farthing
|← Adew adew my hartis lust||Downbery down →|
Aboffe all thynge
now lete vs synge
both day and nyght
a bud is spryngynge 5
of the red rose and the whyght
now let us synge.
now let vs syng 10
a bud is spryngynge
off the red rose and the whyght.
“Aboffe all thynge” is a round in commemoration of a royal birth (as is the unattributed “Adew adew le company” [H 53]), likely that of Henry’s first male child and potential monarchical heir born 1 January 1511. As with Skelton’s “A lawde and prayse” (1509), wherein he notes with reference to the newly-crowned Henry VIII that “The Rose both white and Rede / In one rose now dothe grow” (ll. 1–2), here allusion is made to the strength of the Tudor dynasty as a union of the Yorkists and Lancastrians, represented by their badges of the white rose and red rose, respectively. See also “I loue I loue and whom loue ye” (LFay ff. 40v–46r), a lyric seemingly in celebration of Henry VIII’s older brother Prince Arthur’s birth, wherein Arthur is given the name of “rose” (l. 23) and he, along with his parents, are referred to as “rosys thre” (l. 40). In LFay, see also “Lett serch your myndis” (f. 11r; l. 6), which likely contains reference to Arthur using the same image, and the unattributed “This day day dawes” (ff. 108v–112r) where Elizabeth of York is likely meant in an allusion to a queen gathering a “lyly whighte rose” (l. 5). Arthur would not live to see the crown, but his younger brother would. As the son of Henry Tudor (Lancaster) and Elizabeth (York), Henry VIII was the first of the Tudor monarchs to embody the union of the two factions, and in this lyric the imagery of their traditional badges is transferred to Henry and Katherine’s son, the new heir.
- 4 mornyng Mourning.
- 5 a bud is spryngynge Cf. the similar image of “Lett serch your myndis” (LFay f. 11r): “By droppys of grace that on them down doth rayn / Through whose swete showris now sprong ther is ayen / a rose most riall” (ll. 4–6).
This piece is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 112.5 and Ringler MS TM50. It is reprinted in Chappell Account 382, Flügel Anglia 232, Stevens M&P 391, and Stevens MCH8 18.
Texts Collated: H1 (f. 24v).
- 9 Adew mornyng] A dew mornyng a dew H1