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The First Booke of Songes and Ayres - 1600 [21 pieces]
Composed by Robert Jones
Part 9 - Air XIX. My mistress sings no other song.
Go back to ' The First Booke, Part 1 - Airs I to III '

Return to ' The First Booke, Part 8 - Airs XVI to XVIII'.
Advance to ' The First Booke, Part 10 - Airs XX to XXI.

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My mistress sings no other song
but still complains I did her wrong.
Believe her not; it was not so,
I did but kiss her, I did but kiss her and let her go.

And now she swears I did but what?
Ney, ney, I must not tell you that.
And yet I will, it is so sweet
As 'te-he, ta-ha' - As 'te-he, ta-ha' when lovers meet.

But woman's words they are heedless,
To tell you more it is needless.
I ran and caught her by the arm,
And then I kissed her,
And then I kissed her; this was no harm.

But she, alas, is angry still,
Which showeth but a woman's will.
She bites the lip and cries 'fie, fie.'
And kissing sweetly,
And kissing sweetly away she doth fly.

Yet sure her looks bewrays content,
And cunningly her brawls are meant,
As lovers use to play and sport
When time and leisure,
When time and leisure is too[,] too short. ..

XIX. My mistress sings no other song - Notes, Recordings and Comments

This poem would be a charming and humorous little thing were it not so sexist. The author of this poem is unknown.

This is the second song from Jones's first book to appear in a contemporary play. 'Farewell, dear love' (XII) is quoted in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and this song is sung in John Marston's The Dutch Courtesan (1605). In Shakespeare's time there were two rival theatre troupes, Philip Henslowe and Edward Alleyn, who lead the Admiral's men, opposed the ?Burbaches? and Shakespeare's group called The King's men in James the first's time. John Marston was associated with Henslowe's troupe. A third troupe, that shared Robert Jones's independent spirit, were lead by Richard Jones & Robert Browne. They had ties to Henslowe and did not try to compete in London but wandered Europe.

In John Marston's The Dutch Courtesan the part of Franceschina would be played by a man who played the lute. Edward Doughtie notes the similarities of another song in The Dutch Courtesan, 'The darke is my delight' and another song in Robert Jones's first book 'Sweet Philomel in groves and deserts (XVI). Perhaps, since traces of these two song are found in the play, Robert Jones had something to do with making the music for it.

Patrick Thomas Connolly 2003

Notes from Edward Doughtie's 'Lyrics From Elizabethan Airs , 1596-1622'

"A fragment of this song is sung - in a nondescripe foreign accent - by Franceschina in Marston's The Dutch Courtesan (1605).

The Dutch Courtesan (1605) by John Marston

FRANCESCHINA. Ick sall make de most of you dat courtesy may. - Aunt Mary!
Mettre Faugh! Stools, stools for dese gallants!
- Cantat Gallice.

Mine meetre sing non oder song -
Frolic, frolic, sir! -
But still complain me do her wrong: -
Lighten your heart, sir! -
For me did but kiss her,
For me did but kiss her,
And so let go.

[To Freevill.] Your friend is very heavy. Ick sall ne' lkr such sad company.

FREEVILL. No, thou delightest only in light company
FRANCESCHINA. By mine trot, he been very sad. Vat ail you, Sir?

Charles Fitzgeoffrey was a friend of Thomas Campian. Unlike Philip Rosseter or Robert Jones, Fitzgeoffrey's friendship to Campian is acknowledged in Campian's [each of their] Latin writings. I include this epigram to show that Fitzgeoffrey knew Marston. ??? The Dutch Courtesan ????

Charles Fitzgeoffrey's Affaniae and Cenotaphia (1601)
A critical hypertext edition by Dana F. Sutton PRINTED AT OXFORD BY JOSEPH BARNES, 1601


Gloria, Marstoni, satyrarum proxima primae,
Primaque, fas primas si numerare duas.
Sin primam duplicare nefas, tu gloria saltem,
Marstoni primae, proxima semper eris.
Nec te paeniteat stationis, Iane. Secundus,
Cum duo sint tantum, est neuter, et ambo pares.


Marston, glory of satire next to the first, and first if one can reckon two firsts. If one cannot double the first, at least, Marston, you will always be the glory next to the first. Nor should you rue this rank, Jack. When there are only two, neither is second, and the both are equal.

More - Notes from Edward Doughtie's 'Lyrics From Elizabethan Airs , 1596-1622'

Lines 1-2 and 4 were also sung by Philautus in Everie Woman in her Humor (1609) on sigs. H2 and D3V respectively, changing the first to "My loue Can Sing and adding "For" to the beginning of the second. Line 4 is also quoted in James Shirley's Love's Cruelty (c. 1631), IV.i, Dramatic Works, ed. A. Dyce (London, 1833), II, 239: "For he did but kiss her, for he did but kiss her, and so let her go." See John P. Cutts, "Everie Woman in her Humor," RN, XVIII (1965), 210-212. Cf.: also Thomas Coryat, Coryats Crudities (1611), sig. A3, a distich explaining a picture on the title page:

A Punke here pelts him with egs. How so?
For he did but kisse her, and so let her go.

As David Greer informs me, the tune to this song is to be used for singing a poem printed in J. Starter's Boertigheden or Friesche Lusthof (1621), sig. BIV. The poem is headed, "Stemme: My Mistris sings no other song, &c." and begins "Ick weet niet wat myn Vryster schort."

A List Manuscripts Where This Song Is Found

Folger MS V a 399
1601 #9 Now what is love - poem (after 1603??)
1600 #11 My Mistress sings no other song (after 1630??) - verses

Rosenbach MS 240/2 (c. 1630 - 1650) page 137
1600 #11 My Mistress sings no other song (Edward Doughtie says "this poem seems to be in an even later hand")

To; The First Booke, Part 10 - XX to XXI
This page was written & compiled by Patrick Connolly.
All materials are copyright Patrick Thomas Connolly, 2002 &2004
Last updated - April 11, 2004. - trick T. olly's recording of Robert Jones' 'III. She Whose matchless beauty' [from his Soundclick] added February 22, 2009.