The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Downbery down, Daggere

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Lyrics  |  Manuscript  |  Authors and Composers
The Lyrics of Henry VIII
Appendix 1: Lyrics by Occasion/Theme  |  Appendix 2: Textual/Musical Witnesses  |  Appendix 3: Bibliography

Aboffe all thynge Hey now now

[f. 25r]

Downbery down
now am I exild my lady fro
and no cause geuyn ther to
wherfor to her. I me complayn
hey now                                                   5

trustyng that dysdayn
sone shal be slayne
and never more to remayne.

Wylliam Daggere

Textual Commentary[edit | edit source]

“Downbery down” is a lyric of a lover’s exile from his lady with no known reason (ll. 3–4). The “dysdayn” (l. 6) mentioned shares a similar quality to that of the nearly-allegorized entity of disdain noted in Henry’s own lyrics, that of a force which keeps true lovers apart.

5 hey now A common refrain; see Farthing’s “Hey now now” (H 16) and Kempe’s “Hey nowe nowe” (H 10) both present in H as incipits; “hey now now now” is the burden to “Swet Iesu is cum to vs / this good tym of crystmas” (OxEP ff. 45v–47v; Greene #93), which is stated to be “A song in the tune of / And y were a mayden” (“And I war a maydyn” [H 67]); see also Skelton’s “Agaynste a Comely Coystrowne”: “Rumbyll downe, tumbyll downe, hey go, now, now” (l. 30). Also an exclamation, as in “hey now I howte” (Castle of Perseverance 61).
6 dysdayn Cf. Henry’s “Whoso that wyll all feattes optayne” (H 28.2,4,8,11,14) and elsewhere; see the note to line 2 of the aforementioned lyric.

“Downbery down” is in the form of a round, transcribed exactly here.

“Downbery down” is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 688.8, Boffey, Ringler MS TM367, and Crum D451. It is reprinted in Flügel Anglia 260, 232, Stevens MCH8 18, and Stevens M&P 391.

Textual Notes[edit | edit source]

Texts Collated[edit | edit source]

Texts Collated: H1 (f. 25r), LR58 (f. 4v).

1 down] down down down hay down LR58
5 now] now hey now hey now LR58
6 that dysdayn] this day LR58
7 sone] sum LR58
8 never more] neuer LR58
9 substitute hey now downbery down. LR58