Digital Tradition Mirror

For the Victory at Agincourt

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

For the Victory at Agincourt

Owre kynge went forth to Normandy,
With grace and myyt of chivalry;
The God for hym wrouyt marvelously,
Wherefore Englonde may calle, and cry
                        Deo gratias:
Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria.

He sette a sege, the sothe for to say,
To Harflue toune with ryal aray;
That toune he wan, and made a fray,
That Fraunce shall rywe tyl domes day.
                      Deo gratias, &c.

Then went owre kynge, with alle his oste,
Thorowe Fraunce for all the Frenshe boste;
He spared 'for' drede of leste, ne most,
Tyl he come to Agincourt coste.
                          Deo gratias, &c.

Than for sothe that knyyt comely
In Agincourt feld he fauyt manly
Thorow grace of God most myyty
He had bothe the felde, and the victory
                         Deo gratias, &c.

Ther dukys, and erlys, lorde and barone,
Were take, and slayne, and that wel sone,
And some were ledde in to Lundone
With joye, and merthe, and grete renone
                         Deo gratias, &c.

Noe gratious God he save owre kynge,
His peple, and all his wel wyllynge,
Gef him gode lyfe, and gode endynge,
That we with merth mowe savely syng
                         Deo gratias, &c.
[That our plain and martial ancestors could wield  their
swords much better than their pens, will appear from
the following homely  rhymes,  which were drawn up
by  some  poet laureat  of those  days to celebrate the
immortal victory gained at Agincourt, Oct. 25, 1415. This song
or hymn is given merely as a curiosity, and is printed from a MS.
copy in the Pepys collection, vol. i. folio.  It is there accompanied
with the musical notes, which are copied on the opposite page.]
     The song celebrates the victory of King Henry V over the
Agincourt 1415 which gave England for the first time the upper
hand in the War Of Hundred Years. Henry V had neither "good life"
nor "good ending" and his early death in 1422 and the subsequent
defeat in France started the War Of The Roses. MJ

[When  the  news of this great victory arrived in  England, the
people "were literally mad with joy and triumph," and although
Henry V. on  his  entrance  into  London  after the  battle,  com-
manded that no " ditties should be made and sung by minstrels or
others" in  praise  of Agincourt, "for that he would whollie  have
the praise  and  thankes  altogether given to G

            " A councell brave our King did hold,"

in the  Percy Folio  MS. (see Hales and Furnivall's edition, vol. ii.
p. 166).
 2. Agincourt, or the English Bowman's Glory, a spirited  ballad
quoted in Heywood's King Edward IV., the first stanza of which
is as follows-
             "Agincourt, Agincourt!
             Know ye not Agincourt?
             Where English slue and hurt
             All their French foemen?
             With our pikes and bills brown,
             How the French were beat downe,
             Shot by our bowman."

3. King Henry V., his Conquest of France, commencing-
            " As our King lay musing on his bed."

4. The Cambro-Briton's Ballad of Agincourt, by Michael Drayton.

Besides these ballads there are a poem attributed to Lydgate
and Drayton's Battaile of Agincourt.  For further information on
the subject the reader should see Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas
History  of the battle, and Hales and Furnivall's edition of the
Percy Folio MS. (vol ii. pp. 158 595).
   Dr Rimbault describes the music attached to the present ballad
" as the first English regular composition of which we have any

Words and notes (in []) from Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry
  edited by Henry B. Wheatley
Tune "AGINCRT1" from Popular Music of the Olden Time, Chappell

recorded by The Young Tradition on "Galleries" (1968) and by the
Silly Sisters (June Tabor & Maddy Prior) on "No More To The Dance" (1988)
(verses 1 and 6 only).
Ewan MacColl used this song as basis for his "Bring The Summer Home"

see also "King Henry Fifth's Conquest Of France" (King Henry Fifth's Conquest of France)

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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