COLLEEN OGE ASTHORE

From Songs of Old Ireland with words by Alfred Perceval Graves, and music arranged by Charles Villiers Stanford

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Music score to Colleen Oge Asthore

* This air is taken by permission of Chappell and Co. from Mr. William Chappell's work on "Popular music of the Olden time." There this old Irish air is stated to have been extracted from Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book, and goes by the name of "Callino Casturame," which closely resembles the sound of the burden of the song as found in the "Handefull of pleasant Delites" and copied by Malone in the form "Calen o custure me;" this expression being as Dr. William Stokes shows, a fairly phonetic reproduction of "Colleen oge astore," which means "Young girl, my treasure." "It is evidently to this tune" writes Dr. Stokes, "that Shakespeare alludes in the play of Henry II., Act iv., Scene 4, where Pistol on meeting a French soldier, exclaims, 'Quality! Calen o custure me.'" I venture to suggest that this Irish air and a couple of others in Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book were brought over to this country by Edmund Spencer, whose strong interest in Irish minstrelsy is evident from his "View of the state of Ireland." A.P.G.

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