So now it’s the Easter vacation and I’m up to my eyeballs in music.  I’m thoroughly enjoying doing something that’s closely linked to what I’ve done up to now, but feels refreshingly different, mainly because about a month ago, I hadn’t really thought about why music was printed on the broadside of A New Ballade of a Lover at all.  I’m speculating about crossover genres and attempts to cash in, links to the psalms, Sternhold and Hopkins, and maybe even my epitaph ballad project.

I think that it’s significant that the man who printed A New Ballade of a Lover also printed A Godly Psalme of Mary Queene.  Although it’s not in any way a ballad, A Godly Psalme was significant because it is also a bit of a one off, at least in terms of the survivals from the period.  I’m wondering if what William Griffith, the printer, actually wanted to do was cash in on the popularity of the psalms, and that therefore these two items fit in a field that also contains the thanksgiving songs published to commemorate the accession day of Elizabeth I.

Along the way, I got interested in where A Godly Psalme of Mary Queene might have been performed as well as why it was published.  Whether, for example, it might have been more closely related to Mary I’s accession than we realise.  I started looking at the various accounts of the procession that took place on 30 September 1553, the day before her coronation, and in trying to identify some of the place names that are mentioned, I remembered the interactive map of Early Modern London. I plotted the place names and lo – in front of me I could see the approximate route that Mary took [Agas Map of Early Modern London, accessed 30 March]:

Mary's coronation route.

Moments like this are what make my work so enjoyable.  The past came to life before my eyes.