The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Trolly lolly loly lo

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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

Adew corage adew I love trewly withowt feynyng

[ff. 43v-44r]

Trolly lolly loly lo
syng troly loly lo
my loue is to the grene wode gone
now after wyll I go.
syng trolly loly lo lo ly lo.                                             5

William Cornyshe

Textual Commentary[edit]

This piece is a short lyric of amorous play and pursuit, employing the popular mirthful refrain “Hey trolly lolly.” Possibly, this song is associated with the May Games (Stevens M&P 401).

1 Trolly lolly Similar lines are mentioned in Miles Coverdale’s “Address unto the Christian reader” prefixed to his Goastly Psalmes and Spiritual Songes (1538); he urges that people would be “better occupied” with devotional songs “than with Hey, nonny, nonny—Hey, trolly, lolly, and such like fantasies” (Chappell Popular Music 1.54). Cf. “Hey troly loly loly” (H 50) and “Hey troly loly lo” (H 75); among the marginalia on BL Harleian MS 1,317 is a fragment of a song, “loley to syng and sey as here” (f. 94v). Cf. also Langland’s Piers Plowman: “songen atte ale, / And holpen him to herien wiþ ‘Hey! trolly‑lolly!’” (7.108–109); the anonymous Hickscorner in which the character Free Will urges his group to sing Hey trolly lolly!” (l. 691); Skelton’s satire of a musician at court, “Agaynste A comely coystrowne”: “Lo, Jak wold be a jentylman! Wyth, Hey, troly, loly, lo, whip here, Jak” (ll. 14–15); Folly’s discourse in Skelton’s Magnyfycence: “He dawnsys so longe, hey, troly loly, / That euery man lawghyth at his foly” (1250–51); and others.[1] The Complaint of Scotland lists a song entitled “Troloo lolee, lemmen dou” (lxxxiii, #64; p. 64).

“Trolly lolly loly lo” is through-set for three voices. It is listed in the manuscript’s table of contents as the thirty-fourth work.

This piece is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 3800.5, Ringler MS TM1774. It is reprinted in Flügel Anglia 239, Stevens M&P 401, and Stevens MCH8 32.

Textual Notes[edit]

Texts Collated[edit]

H1,2,3 (ff. 43v–44r).

1 lolly loly] lolly H2
4 after] ter H1
5 syng] hey H3; loly lo] loly lo loly H2, lolly lo trolly H3; lo.] loly lo. H2

References[edit]

  1. As well, Ravenscroft’s “The hunt is vp” (Briefe Discourse #1)—“Hey tro li lo, tro lo li lo” (l. 8; see also ll. 14 & 22)—and the related “Awake, awake” (Briefe Discourse #3): “Hey troly lolly ly lo ly ly lo, / Hey troly ly hey” (ll. 7–8); his “Willy prethe goe to bed” (Deuteromelia): “With a hey trolly loly. . .” (ll. 5–6, refrain for each stanza); the final line of his “Hey hoe what shall I say” (Pammelia #99)—“hey trolly trolly lolly, come againe ho, hey”—and his “Sing we now merily” (Pammelia #100): “hey hoe trolly lolly loe, trolly lolly lo”; and many others.