'I have a yong suster': popular song and the Middle English lyric
This study explores the relationship of the Middle English lyric (primarily, though not exclusively, the secular lyric) to the various forms of folksong and popular song for which we have manuscript evidence or testimony from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The author interprets the poems in their cultural and manuscript contexts, but also applies structuralist and semiotic analytical methods as tools for a more systematic interpretive approach to material not immediately accessible to the present-day reader. Those medieval lyrics that can most profitably and convincingly be related to an oral popular tradition of folksong are often the ones which modern readers find most attractive and interesting. Through a context-sensitive, cultural and historical textual hermeneutic applied to such a selection of Middle English lyrics, the book attempts to shape for the reader a sense of the nature, extent and dynamics of the popular literary culture of the medieval and early modern period.
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actantial Adam Bell Adversary agayne Andrewe Barton apparendy archery audience ban ys batde Bodleian Library British Library Captain Car carols Child Christ composition context courdy courtly dance Diabolus et Virgo Douglas erotic fabliau fairy fictional universe fifteenth folksong Fowler genre Gest Greene haue Helper hero historical ballads Hunting IMEV Inter Diabolus J)at Judas kind king knight kyng lady Latin lines litde literary lord loyalty lulley medieval Middle English minstrels narrative nature neuer oral tradition oudaw ballads Percy folio poem poet poetry popular song printed Rawlinson lyrics relationship rhyme Richard Robin Hood Robyn and Gandeleyn romances Saint Stephen sayd saye seems Sender sexual seyde singers Sir Andrewe Barton Sir Orfeo sixteenth century slayne Sloane manuscript spell ballads story structure style ther thirteenth thirteenth-century Thomas of Erceldoune thou thow vernacular verse vpon waye wolde written wyll yone