mudcat.org: Early music song 'pretty bird'
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Early music song 'pretty bird'

Mo the caller 25 Jun 19 - 06:24 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 Jun 19 - 07:35 PM
Mo the caller 26 Jun 19 - 02:14 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 27 Jun 19 - 02:54 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 27 Jun 19 - 05:24 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 27 Jun 19 - 06:17 PM
Mo the caller 05 Jul 19 - 08:24 AM
Mo the caller 05 Jul 19 - 08:25 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Jul 19 - 11:19 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Googling Em song 'pretty bird'
From: Mo the caller
Date: 25 Jun 19 - 06:24 PM

I may have imagined it but I think there is an early music song with the line
Pretty bird, pretty bird, pretty bird.

And I was listening to a radio 3 programme I recorded last week Early Music Late, and they played
Henry Purcell
The Fairy Queen Z.629: Suite
There seemed to be a bit that quoted the line. Google find a modern Pretty Bird, or if I ask for Early Music I get 'She was one of the early birds'! I'd like to listen to the song to see if I've just dreamed it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Jun 19 - 07:35 PM

John Danyel wrote a lute song called "Thou pretty bird", but it appears only as the 1st three words.

On the other hand John Bartlett wrote a lute song called "A Pretty Duck", which has "A pretty pretty pretty duck, a pretty duck, a pretty pretty duck. A very pretty duck there was..."!

Can't think offhand of so many pretty birds (though Philip my sparrow hath no peer!)

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Jun 19 - 02:14 PM

Thanks, YouTube has the first - and it's not the one I was thinking of. Couldn't find the duck song, though the sparrow is also on YouTube.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 27 Jun 19 - 02:54 PM

Mo - there's a recording of A Pretty Duck on youtube by The Lovekyn Consort under ye olde spelling: A Pretty Ducke

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 27 Jun 19 - 05:24 PM

In a letter to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII referred to her breasts as her “pretty Duckys [which] I trust shortly to kysse”. I don’t know if that was his private nickname or - like so much else - a double entendre of the period; and I haven’t researched it even as far as a google click, so that’s just a guess. Fits in with the lute songs, though.

Mick, thanks for reminding me of Philip the sparrow - that’s such fun to sing. Except I invariably get the “yit yit yit yit” stuck in my head. The early bird catches the earworm?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 27 Jun 19 - 06:17 PM

Bonnie

The Henry VIII letter can be seen, with transcription, at Luminarium Anthology of English Literature (click the image to get a larger, readable, version).

I haven't been able to find how widespread the term duckys for breast was. Mark Morton's book The Lover's Tongue (A Merry Romp Through the Language of Love and Sex) has "The word duckys might simply have been inspired by a resemblance between the soft, white feathers of a domestic duck and the soft, white skin of an English woman's breasts, facilitated by the coincidental resemblance of duck and dug, the latter denoting an animal's teat." Partridge doesn't mention it in this sense.

Now I'm stuck with the earworm!

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Mo the caller
Date: 05 Jul 19 - 08:24 AM

Thanks for the duck. I must have invented the other song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Mo the caller
Date: 05 Jul 19 - 08:25 AM

Some phrases of music just invite certain words being sung to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Early music song 'pretty bird'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Jul 19 - 11:19 AM

The Lovekyn version of a Pretty Duck has an altered last verse which spoils the structure (where the text at the end of one verse leads into the start of the next) of the song (not to mention the innuendo!).

The lyrics I have go (without the repeats):

  A tickling part that maidens love
  But I can never get
  Yet long have sought and still do crave
  At rest my heart to set.

Recordings online seem hard to find. The only other recording I know of offhand is The Boston Camerata on Elizabethan Songbook.

(There is a score arranged for 4 voices at IMSLP: A Pretty Ducke

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 31 March 10:52 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.