1. Skelton mentions this piece among his works, in the Garland of Laurel, v. 1198. Sir John Hawkins, who printed it together with the music, says that it "appears to have been set by William Cornish of the Chapel Royal in the reign of Henry vii." Hist. of Music, iii. 2.
2. These wanton clerks be nice alway] i.e. These wanton scholars be always foolish, inclined to folly, to toyish tricks: compare our author's Philip Sparrow;
"Philip, though he were nice
In him it was no vice," &c.
3. Tully vally] Or Tilly vally—an exclamation of contempt, the origin of which is doubtful.
4. Christian Cloute] Compare our author's Colyn Cloute;
"He could not sing himself therout
But by the help of Christian Cloute."
5. Jack of the vale] [The hero of some popular ditty.] So our author in his Magnificence; "some jangling Jack of the vale," v. 260. Compare two pieces of a much later date;
"I am not now to tell a tale
Of George a Greene, or Jack a Vale."
The Odcombian Banquet, 1611. sig. C 3.
"And they had lever printen Jack a vale
Or Clim o Clough," &c.
J.Davies,—Other Eglogues annexed to The Shepherd's Pipe, 1614. sig. G. 4.
6 Straw, James Fodder, ye play the fode] i.e. apparently, Nonsense! James Fodder, you play the child, or fool.
7. best cheap] i.e. cheapest.
8. thought] i.e.. sadness, grief: see note 17 to Divers Ballads and Ditties Solacious