Begone From The Window


Begone From The Window


This is a Cornish version of a song known across Europe and an ancestry in the English speaking world going back to at least the 16th Century. A tune called “Goe from my Window” written by Thomas Morely is included in a collection of late Elizabethan music donated to Cambridge University by Viscount Fitzwilliam in 1816. The collection is known as the Fitzwilliam Virginal book but was not given a title originally. It appears in one of the earliest folk song collections, William Chappell’s “Popular Music of the Olden Time” published in 1838. Chappell provides two variations on the tune, one minor and one major and discusses the Elizabethan and broadside ballad origins of melody and lyrics. He provides an interesting but tenuous link to “Francis Tregian The Younger” of Probus and suggests that he may have been in possession of the manuscripts at one stage. True or otherwise this is unlikely to have impacted upon Cornish tradition as Tregian spent much of his life abroad.
A variety of lyrics, mostly following the same cuckold theme, appear in later collections including Barrett’s English
Folk Songs in 1891 and Baring Gould’s Songs of the West edited by Cecil Sharp in 1905. Baring Gould obtained his
version from John Woodrich who had heard it an ale-house near Bideford in 1864, “from an old man, who recited a
tale, in which the song comes in snatches”. Whilst the words provided by Jas. Thomas for the Old Cornwall Journal
are not particularly unique the tune is quite different from the Elizabethan “Goe from the Window” and those
collected elsewhere.



Begone From The Window

Cite As

“Begone From The Window,” An Daras, accessed October 4, 2022,

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