Hoyda, hoyda, jolly rutterkin (William Cornysh)

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  • CPDL #14860:       
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2007-09-09).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 71 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
  • CPDL #07286:        (Sibelius 2)
Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2004-06-21).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 64 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Source is "A General History of the Science and Practice of Music" by Sir John Hawkins, page 370 in the 1853 edition. Lyrics have been altered to follow modern editions of this poem, except that "Rutterkin" is contracted to "Ruttkin" rather than "Rutter". MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Hoyda, hoyda, jolly rutterkin
Composer: William Cornysh
Lyricist: John Skelton, attrib. (1460-1529)

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: TTB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

Published: c. 1500 in Fayrfax manuscript.

Description: According to Hawkins and others the song is a satire on the drunken Flemings who came to England with Anne of Cleves on her marriage to King Henry VIII, but both Cornysh and Skelton had died over a decade before that event. The OED indicates that "rutterkin" means "a swaggering gallant or bully" and that "hoyda" or "heyday" is "an exclamation of gaiety or amusement".

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Hoyda, hoyda, jolly rutterkin.'
Hoyda, hoyda, like a rutterkin.

Rutterkin is come unto our town,
In a cloak without coat or gown,
Save a ragged hood to cover his crown.

Rutterkin can speak no English.
His tongue runneth all on buttered fish
Besmeared with grease about his dish.

Rutterkin shall bring you all good luck,
A stoup of beer up at a pluck,
Till his brain be as wise as a duck.

When Rutterkin from board will rise,
He will piss a gallon-pot full at twice,
And the over plus under the table of the new guise.