The tragical history of the mare (Henry Carey)

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  • (Posted 2022-04-01)  CPDL #68666:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-04-01).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 331 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: The tragical history of the mare
Composer: Henry Carey
Lyricist: Henry Carey
Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: solo high
Genre: SecularCantata

Language: English
Instruments: Basso continuo

First published: 1724
Description: Carey was one of those Englishmen bemused by the success of Italian opera in London in the 1720s. This cantata "compos'd in the high style by Sigr. Carini" satirises the current fashion, by horseplay within the trappings of high art. It uses the mismatch of low subject and highfalutin treatment that was employed so successfully by The Beggar's Opera, four years later.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Unhappy me! What shall I do?
My poor dear mare has lost her shoe,
And I've no money to buy new.
Some drunken rascal, in the night,
Has torn her saddle, out of spite:
'T has ruin'd and undone me quite!
But what does most my soul assail
Is that, in fury of his ale,
The cursèd dog has lopp'd her tail.

O mare, well may'st thou grumble;
Thy shoe is lost and thou must stumble.
Surely the fellow's brains were addle,
That cropp'd thy tail and tore thy saddle.