56  A CARROUSE/ TO THE/ Emperour, the Royal Pole,/ And the much-wrong'd DUKE of LORRAIN [Roxburghe 4.2]

Author: D'Urfey, Thomas (1653?–1723)

Recording: A Carrouse to the Emperour

Bodies - injury Death - warfare Emotions - disdain Emotions - excitement Emotions - joy Employment - sailors/soldiers Gender - masculinity News - international Places - European Places - extra-European Politics - Tories/Whigs Politics - domestic Politics - foreign affairs Recreation - alcohol Recreation - coffee Recreation - good fellowship Religion - Muslims Religion - general Royalty - praise Violence - between states

Song History

A CARROUSE / TO THE / Emperour was first published in a white-letter format under the title An Excellent New Song, On the late Victories over the TURKS by the pro-Court Catholic printer, Nathaniel Thompson, in late September or October 1683 (aee Publication History). Our featured black-letter edition was published some time later by the retail ballad specialist Philip Brooksby, under its revamped title, A CARROUSE / TO THE / Emperour, the Royal Pole, / And the much-wrong'd DUKE of LORRAIN.

Historical Context

Written by the court playwright and singer-songwriter, Tom D'Urfey, the original song was inspired by the lifting of the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683. Mohammed IV’s Ottoman Army, under the command of Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa, arrived at Vienna on 16 July and beseiged the city. Vienna’s defence was commanded by Count Ernst Rudiger von Starhemberg. On 11 September, the city was relieved by an army of 20,000 men under the joint command of John III Sobiski of Poland and Charles V, duke of Lorraine. The Ottomans were routed and driven back, a momentous victory that was celebrated across Western Europe, leaving a striking legacy in printed songs, stories and images.

Sobiski and Lorraine led a coalition of Catholic forces, but Louis XIV of France had remained neutral throughout the conflict. Louis had banked on an Ottoman victory that would weaken the Hapsburgs and help his expansionist campaigns in the Holy Roman Empire. Even so, with his rivals distracted, the French king took the opportunity to consolidate his position in the Alsace by capturing strategic towns. He also strengthened his hold over the duchy of Lorraine, a territory that was claimed by the military hero of the hour, Charles V, duke of Lorraine. As we will see, Brooksby’s black-letter edition of the song came out after August 1684, because it alone refers to the Truce of Ratisbon, in which Louis XIV guaranteed 20 years of peace between France and the Empire and agreed that Charles II should be the leading arbitrator over border disputations.


A Carrouse to the Emperour largely replicated Thompson's edition of D'Urfey's An Excellent New Song, On the late Victories over the TURKS. Both editions are drinking songs and both jestingly propose that sobriety was to blame for the Ottomans’ defeat, while the power of wine had strengthened the Christian forces. Both songs also celebrated the ‘Royal Pole’ (John III Sobiski) as a 'Second Alexander’. But there were some important differences between the two versions that highlight the social and political differences of the audiences targeted by Thompson’s white-letter and Brooksby’s black-letter editions.

The song was first written in 1683 for a courtly audience, potentially the king himself, as D’Urfey was a great favourite at this time. The original text contrasted the weakness of tea, coffee, and small beer, which ‘turn’d the Ottoman king into a drouzy senseless rogue’, with the strength of the Christian forces, who were ‘warm’d with the force of claret’.

Several changes in the black-letter version increased the relatability of the song for a wider audience. It left out the verse about tea, which was prohibitively expensive at this time, and beyond the experience of most ordinary people. It dropped the denigration of ‘small beer’, which was a standard drink for women, for the young, for the poor, and for working men during the day. It also removed the original reference to claret and instead praised cheaper, more popular white wine varieties, such as ‘hock’ and ‘Langoon’. One of the two additional verses claimed that while ‘Loyal Hearts’ drank [German] hock', French Claret drinkers were too cowardly to be helped by it.

Brooksby’s black-letter version seems to have been written in the wake of the Treaty of Ratisbon. The song not only directly attacked Louis XIV’s expansive European campaign and his anti-Christian alliance with the Ottomans, but one of the new verses took up the cause of the heroic duke of Lorraine. Describing him as ‘much-wrong’d’, the verse called upon European powers to drive ‘Monsieur’ [Louis XIV] out of the duke’s territory and to ‘fix [Lorraine] in his Dukedom’.

The final verse, shared by both songs, brought the commentary back to English affairs. Describing Louis XIV as ‘The Most Christian Turk at home’, it mocked his expansionist hopes as ‘shallow’, now that the Poles had ‘led the dance’ and defeated Louis’ Ottoman allies. The final two lines called upon Charles II to ‘send a fleet to France’ and declaimed ‘he’s a Whigg that will not follow’. This last line brought the song into harmony with many others in this period, which likened Whigs to sober, unchristian, Turks, while Tories were celebrated as roaring goodfellows, who were unquestioningly loyal to king and church. 

Publication and popularity

The song ran to at least five broadside editions between the autumn of 1683 and the spring of 1685. Nine copies survive but only one contemporary purchaser can be identified: Samuel Pepys bought one of the three Brooksby editions. The Ashmole copy may have been gifted to Elias Ashmole, but this is not certain. One unusual and anonymously published black-letter edition was printed as a slip ballad and cannot be dated with any certainty. Slip-ballads are usually thought of as an eighteenth-century product, but at that time they were invariably printed in roman not black-letter type. It seems unlikely that this highly topical song was reprinted so much later, though the ballad’s tune did remain extremely popular (see Featured tune history).

Although the single edition of Thompson’s white-letter song suggests it sold less well than the blackletter version, it was also published in several songbooks. In 1684, three verses were published by John Playford and James Hindmarsh in Thomas D'Urfey, Several New Songs, while six of the broadside verses were printed in both of Thompson’s loyal songbook collections in 1684 and 1685. (See Related texts for further details).

Angela McShane

Anders Ingram, ‘The Ottoman siege of Vienna, English ballads, and the exclusion crisis’, Historical Journal, 57.1 (2014) 53-80.

Angela McShane, The Ballad Trade and Its Politics in Seventeenth Century Britain (Woodbridge, forthcoming), Ch. 6.

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Featured Tune History

‘To a New Tune at the PLAY-HOUSE’ (standard name: Hark the thundering cannons roar)

The purpose of this section is to provide brief notes on the melody followed by detailed evidence relating to  its ballad career, paying particular attention to the ‘echoes’ (inter-song associations and connections) that may have been set up if it was nominated for the singing of more than one ballad. In the list presented in the ‘Songs and Summaries’ section below, we have endeavoured to include as many of the black-letter ballads that used the tune as possible, under any of its variant names. Titles from our chart of best-sellers are presented in bold type (these are also in colour when there is a link to the relevant ballad page on the website). It should be noted that it is extremely difficult to date many ballads precisely and the chronological order in which the songs are listed is therefore very approximate (we have drawn on previous attempts to date the ballads, making adjustments when additional evidence can be brought into play).  In most cases, we list the earliest surviving edition of a ballad, though in many instances there may have been earlier versions, now lost.

Versions and variations

This tune was newly composed by Christopher Fishburn in c. 1683, perhaps specifically for the original version of this song, issued as An Excellent New Song, On the late Victories over the TURKS (see Song history). It became known by several closely related titles, most of them derived directly from the ballad’s first line: ‘[The] Cannons Roar’, ‘[Hark] the thundring Cannons roar’ and ‘Hark I hear the Cannons roar’ (with several additional variations, all of them featuring the words ‘cannons’ and ‘roar’). Other names existed - ‘The reward of loyalty’, ‘Wealth breeds care’  and ‘Vienna’, for example - but none of these was deployed with any regularity.

Notation for the tune appeared in several different sources during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and surviving versions varied only slightly in their melodic details. Our recording uses an early example of the tune found in John Playford’s Choice Ayres and Song (1684). The melody also appeared in Nathaniel Thompson’s Choice Collection of 180 Loyal Songs (1685) and in editions of Playford’s Dancing Master from 1686 (it is intriguing to imagine such a militaristic tune being used for one of Playford’s refined country dances). In addition, several white-letter ballads displayed the melody, including The Whigs Drown’d IN AN HONEST TORY-HEALTH (1683) and The Whig-Intelligencer (1684).

Echoes (an overview)

Our hit ballad, A CARROUSE TO THE Emperour (1684), seems to have inaugurated a six-year spell during which the tune was extremely successful. Within this short period, it became strongly and consistently associated with two closely-related themes. First, several songs followed A CARROUSE in tying the melody to expressions of tub-thumping military triumphalism (often with references to the drinking of healths). The heroes of these songs were sometimes the European military leaders whose armies were busy engaging and defeating the Turkish forces at Vienna and elsewhere. Not surprisingly, English balladeers were unwilling to grant all the glory to the foreigners who saved Christianity, and the tune therefore migrated to songs about brave English sailors and soldiers, doing their bit for Protestantism on the high seas or in Ireland at the end of the decade.

The other main theme complicates matters somewhat, for the melody was also nominated on intensely Royalist ballads that expressed devotion first to James II and then, when he seemed intent on imposing Catholicism on England, to William III, the scourge of ‘Papists’ everywhere. Joshua Deacon issued songs that supported both monarchs, though it is noticeable that the leading ballad-publisher, William Thackeray, only released songs that used the tune in support of William and Mary.

These two themes – military prowess and devoted Royalism – clearly reinforced one another, and the tune must have come to imply bravery and resolve even when attached to texts that did not emphasise warfare directly. An unusual example is THE PRINCESS Welcome to England, which praises Mary’s mildness and modesty to a tune that spoke of military strength. The fact that she was also described as ‘the Church and Faiths Defender’ went some way towards resolving the tension.

Perhaps the most interesting ballads were those that appropriated the melody’s links to warfare for songs about courtship. In some cases, the authors were explicit in describing the strategies of ardent male lovers in militaristic terms (see, for example, The true Lovers Conquest). In other cases, the tune takes on this associative work alone (A Pattern of LOVE). The effect was probably humorous, as it was when the melody animated THE Cheater Cheated, a ballad in which the key contest is not between Christians and Muslims but between supposedly sophisticated Londoners and the Staffordshire locals who manage to get the better of them while gambling over a foot-race.

Several of the songs to this tune also contain more precise textual echoes. The sonic blast that opened A CARROUSE – ‘Hark! I hear the Cannons Roar’ – inspired other composers to begin their ballads with lines such as ‘Hark! I hear the Trumpets sound’ or ‘Sound a Trumpet, beat a Drum’. [T]he CAESAR's Victory introduces us to men ‘Who sailed up with Courage bold,/ As if they would not be controul'd;/ But we brave noble hearts of Gold,/ their Courage never feared.’ This has a good deal in common with a verse from The Seamen and Souldiers Couragious Resolution: ‘There’s not a man with courage bold/ But now may get good store of Gold,/ Our Enemies we’l so controul,/ and bravely give them Battel.’ The author of The Royal HEALTH presents the rhyming lines, ‘To rule in Peace our Nation’ and ‘To cause the least Vexation’. Tyrconnels Courage Confounded does something rather similar, rhyming ‘of the true English nation’ with ‘unto our sore vexation’.

[See 'Postscript', below, for additional notes on this melody].

Songs and Summaries

A CARROUSE TO THE Emperour, the Royal Pole, And the much-wrong’d DUKE of LORRAIN. To a New Tune at the PLAY-HOUSE (P. Brooksby, 1684?). Roxburghe 4.2; EBBA 30807. Recreation – alcohol, good fellowship, coffee; Politics – foreign affairs, domestic, Tories/Whigs; Royalty – praise; News – international; Employment – sailors/soldiers; Emotions – excitement, joy, disdain; Gender – masculinity; Bodies – injury; Death – warfare;  Violence – between states; Places – European, extra-European; Religion – general. This celebrates the defeat of the Ottoman army by Christian forces at Vienna in 1683, and argues that alcohol is the finest imaginable aid to military bravery.

LONDONS LOYALTY: OR, A New SONG on the Royal Coronation. To the Tune of, Hark the Thundering Cannons roar (C. Dennison? 1685). Pepys 2.231; EBBA 20844. Royalty – praise; Politics – celebration, domestic, Royalist, obedience, plots; Recreation – public festivity, alcohol, music, dance; Emotions – joy; Gender – marriage; History – ancient/mythological. This celebrates the coronation of James II and urges all his subjects to welcome him, live obediently and avoid thinking about matters of state or what might happen in the future.

The Rebels Totally Routed... To the Tune of, Hark I hear the Cannons Rore (J. Deacon, 1685). Pepys 2.238; EBBA 20852. Politics – plots, domestic, Royalist, treason, obedience; Crime – treason; Death – warfare; Violence – civil war; Emotions – joy, relief; Royalty – praise; Employment – sailors/soldiers; Recreation – public festivity, music, alcohol; Gender – masculinity; News – political; Places – English, nationalities. A song that celebrates the defeat of Monmouth’s rebellion, expressing loyalty to King James and wishing for peace in the future.

A Loyal SONG, on KING JAMES His Royal BIRTH-Day: To the Tune of, The Cannons Roar (J. Back, 1685-88). Pepys 2.233; EBBA 20846. Royalty – praise; Politics – celebration, Royalist, domestic; Recreation – public festivity, music, alcohol; Emotions – joy, love. A song that describes the celebrations to mark the king’s birthday and praises him as ‘Europes Great Monarch’.

The TRIUMPHING English Commanders, Or the Rebells Overthrow and utter Desolation. To the Tune of the Thundring Cannons roar  (no imprint, 1685?). Huntington, Bridgewater 133183; ESTC R2770; EBBA 32113. Politics - civil war, domestic, Royalist, plots/rebellions; Royalty - praise; Employment - sailors/soldiers; Emotions - patriotism; Death - warfare; Violence - civil war, political; Recreation - alcohol. A rousing call for loyalty to King James, who must be defended against the rebellious Duke of Monmouth and his allies.

THE Cheater Cheated: OR, Sauce for the GOOSE is good for the GANDER... To the Tune of, Hark the Thundring Cannons Rore (P. Brooksby, 1685-1698).  Pepys 4.279; EBBA 21940.  Recreation – games; Society – rural life, urban life; Humour – deceit/disguise; Gender – masculinity; Morality – social/economic; Places – English. The countryfolk of Staffordshire outwit visiting Londoners over the betting that accompanies a foot-race.

The true Lovers Conquest OR, The scornful maiden overcome by true Love and Loyalty... Tune of Hark! the thundring Cannons rore (J. Blare, 1685-1706). Pepys 3.214; EBBA 21227. Gender – courtship, masculinity, femininity; Bodies – looks/physique; Emotions – longing, love. An ardent man declares his love for a woman and, eventually, she comes to believe in his sincerity and abandons her resistance.

A Pattern of LOVE. OR, The Faithful Lovers well met... To the Tune of, The Cannons Rore (J. Blare, 1685-1706). Pepys 3.216; EBBA 21229. Gender – courtship; Bodies – looks/physique; Emotions – longing, love, joy. A woman praises the man she loves, not realising that he is listening, but fortunately he is keen on her too and a happy outcome is assured.

Beauties Triumph: OR, The Joys of Faithful Lovers made compleat... To a New Play-House Tune; Or, The Reward of Loyalty, &c (P. Brooksby, 1685-1698). Crawford 1007; EBBA 33621. Gender – courtship, masculinity, femininity; Bodies – looks/physique; Emotions – longing, love, anxiety, joy; Environment – flowers/trees, weather; Society – rural life. Amintor courts Sylva but she, distrusting male intentions, resists his advances until she ‘yields’ in the penultimate verse.

[T]he CAESAR's Victory. IT BEING [An] Account of a Ship so called, in her Voyage to the East Indies... Tune of, Cannons rore (J. Deacon, 1686).  Pepys 4.198; EBBA 21860.  News – sensational, international; Employment – sailors/soldiers; Gender – masculinity; Death – warfare; Violence – at sea; Emotions – anxiety, joy, patriotism; Religion – Christ/God, divine intervention; Places – travel; Politics – foreign affairs; Economy - money. This recounts the ordeal of an English ship, attacked by five pirate vessels but crewed by men so stout of heart that the outcome was never really in doubt.

The Christians new Victory Over the TURKS in Hungaria near the Drave... To the Tune of, The Thundring Cannons Roar (Phillip Brooksby, 1687). Pepys 2.138; EBBA 20758. Politics – celebration, foreign affairs; Death – warfare; Violence – between states; Emotions – joy, excitement; Employment – sailors/soldiers; Religion – Muslims, heroism, ancient gods; Gender – masculinity; Recreation – alcohol; History – ancient/mythological; News – international, political; Royalty – praise; Places – European, travel/transport. This celebrates a major victory for the Christians over the Turks, and notes the involvement of English volunteers.

The Seamen and Souldiers Couragious Resolution to stand by the P. of Orange. Tune of Hark! the thundring Canons rore (G. J., 1688?). Pepys 2.321; EBBA 20940. Politics – domestic, foreign affairs, Royalist; Royalty – praise; Employment – sailors/soldiers; Violence – between states; Gender – masculinity; Emotions – patriotism, excitement, pride; Religion – Catholic/Protestant; Recreation – alcohol; Environment – sea. This expresses the loyalty of brave Englishmen to William and declares their willingness to fight in blood up to the knees for king and country.

The Courtly Triumph, Or, An Excellent New Song upon the CORONATION of K. William and Q. Mary... To the Tune of, Cannons Roar (W. Thackeray, 1689). Pepys 2.268; EBBA 20881.  Royalty – praise; Politics – celebration, domestic, foreign affairs, Royalist; Religion – Catholic/Protestant; Recreation – alcohol, public festivity, music; Bodies – clothing; Emotions – joy, relief, patriotism. A celebration of the coronation, focusing on William of Orange and arguing that almost the whole nation, now liberated from ‘Popery’, is behind him.

THE Dutch's Happy Conquest: OR, THE French Routed In their Voyage to [?T]]yrconnel in Ireland, Feb. 28, 1689. Tune of the Thundring Canons Rore (R. Hayhurst, 1689).  Pepys 4.222; EBBA 21884.  Politics – celebration, foreign affairs, Royalist; Royalty – praise, criticism; Violence – at sea, between states; News – international; Emotions – joy, hatred, patriotism. This celebrates a Dutch victory over the French and asserts international Protestant unity against Catholicism in France and Ireland.

ENGLANDS Triumph, OR, The Kingdoms Joy for the proclaiming of King William... To the Tune of, Thundering Cannons roar (W. Thackeray, 1689). Pepys 2.273; EBBA 20887. Royalty – praise; Politics – celebration, domestic, Royalist; Emotions – joy, relief, patriotism; Religion – Catholic/Protestant, church, clergy; Family – pregnancy/childbirth. This expresses delight at the arrival of William and Mary, the saviours of Protestantism, and the ballad-maker hopes that they will be blessed with children (first a series of sons, and then a daughter).

POPERY Routed: OR, Father Petres’s Farewel to London City: To the Tune of, Hark how the Thundring Cannons Roar (‘Printed in the Year 1689’). Pepys 2.296; EBBA 20912. Religion – Catholic/Protestant, clergy; Politics – celebration, controversy, domestic, Royalist, plots, parliament; Emotions – hatred, joy, relief; Family – pregnancy/childbirth; Royalty – praise. A fiercely anti-Catholic ballad, celebrating the defeat of recent attempts to transform the religion of England and expressing gratitude to King William.

THE PRINCESS Welcome to England, Being, The Unanimous Joy of Her Loyal Subject. To the Tune of, The Cannons Rore (W. Thackeray, 1689). Pepys 2.256; EBBA 20869. Royalty – praise; Politics – celebration, domestic, Royalist; Religion – Catholic/Protestant, church; Emotions – joy, patriotism; Gender – femininity; Bodies – clothing, physique/looks; Recreation – alcohol, music, public celebration. This ballad focuses on Mary rather than William, welcoming her to England and praising her as ‘the Church and Faiths Defender’.

The Royal HEALTH. To the Tune of, Hark how the thundring Canons roar, &c (printed by John Wallis, 1689).  Pepys 2.343; EBBA 20962.  Politics – celebration, domestic, Royalist; Recreation – alcohol, good fellowship, music; Royalty – praise; Religion – Catholic/Protestant, heroism; Emotions – joy, patriotism. This urges the drinking of loyal healths to William and Mary for saving the nation from ‘Romes cruel Tyranny’.

Tyrconnels Courage Confounded. OR, His Armies Resolution to Surrender, rather than feel the Dangerous Effects of the English Forces. To the Tune of, The Cannons Roar (J. Deacon, 1689). Pepys 2.366; EBBA 20985. Politics – foreign affairs, Royalist; Religion – Catholic/Protestant, Purgatory, saints; Royalty – praise; Death – warfare; Violence – between states; History – recent; Emotions – scorn; Employment – sailor/soldiers; Gender – masculinity; Humour – mockery; Places – nationalities. The Irish leader, Tyrconnell, is ready to fight for his own glorification, but his men, intimidated by the might of the English forces, opt for a quieter life.


Not surprisingly, this tune was also deployed regularly on white-letter ballads of the 1680s. In most cases, the thematic associations appear to have been very close to those sketched out above. An important example was The Whigs Drown’d IN AN HONEST TORY-HEALTH (1683), a loyalist drinking song with militaristic references that may conceivably have pre-dated A CARROUSE TO THE Emperour. Notation for the tune appeared on the sheet but the melody was identified only as ‘a pleasant Tune’, perhaps because it had not yet acquired its best-known name. See also: On the Most High and Mighty Monarch / King JAMES the II. / His Exaltation on the Throne of ENGLAND (N. Thompson, 1685); and An Excellent / NEW SONG / ENTITULED THE / Seige of London-Derry (Jer. Wilkins, 1689).

Christopher Marsh


John Playford, Choice Ayres and Songs (1684), p. 11.

                The Dancing-Master (1686), p. 203.

Claude Simpson, The British broadside ballads and its music (New Brunswick, 1966), pp. 287-89.

Nathaniel Thompson, Choice Collection of 180 Loyal Songs (1685), p. 69.

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Featured Woodcut History

Standard woodcut name: Carousing man with goblet and jug

The purpose of this section is to provide evidence relating to  the career of the image under discussion, paying particular attention to the ‘reflections’ (inter-song associations and connections) that may have been set up if it was chosen to illustrate more than one ballad. The list given below includes all ballads from the Pepys and Roxburghe collections that feature this woodcut or a close variant (these are the two largest collections, including approximately 3300 sheets, in total). References to ballads from other collections occur only when the featured edition of the song under consideration here (or the featured edition of another song from our list) comes from such a source. Ballads from our chart of best-sellers are presented in bold type, and they also appear in colour where there is a link to another song in the database. Please note, however, that the editions of hit songs listed below are not necessarily those for which digital images are presented on this website. Cross-references to other examples of our featured woodcuts are also presented in bold. It is extremely difficult to date many ballads precisely and the chronological order in which the songs are listed is therefore very approximate (we have drawn on previous attempts to date the ballads, making adjustments when additional evidence can be brought into play).

Reflections (an overview)

This image appeared on a number of ballads but it was not one of the most popular, and all surviving versions seem to have come from the same woodblock. Not surprisingly, the gallant with a goblet in one hand and a jug in the other was strongly associated with alcohol and the ‘good fellowship’ of ‘proper’ men. Some of the ballads upon which he appeared defended drinking not just as a pastime but also as a key social bond and a rational response to the transience of life. A CARROUSE built upon these foundations by associating sociable male drinking with military courage and success. He appears on most surviving copies and editions. Occasionally, the Carousing man with goblet and jug also appeared on ballads about tricksters and on courtship ballads, but his primary reputation was as a champion of manly alcoholic sociability.

Songs and summaries

Roaring Dick of Douer: OR, The Jouiall good fellow of Kent (H. G., 1601-40).  Pepys 1.434-35; EBBA 20204. Recreation – good fellowship, alcohol; Gender – marriage, mixed sociablity, masculinity, femininity; Places - English.  A man sings in praise of good fellowship and recommends enjoying the moment rather than thinking about the future (picture placement: he appears on the right side of the sheet, alongside a flamboyantly-dressed man holding a staff or mace).

The Cheating Age (E. A. for John Wright, 1602-46).  Pepys 1.158-9; EBBA 20069. Recreation – alcohol, games; Society – urban life; Gender – masculinity; Places – English. A man from Lincoln journeys to London and is tricked out of all his wealth by disreputable and deceitful company (picture placement: he stands on the right of the sheet, next to Akimbo man with plumed hat).

JOANS Victory Over her Fellow-Servants (P. Brooksby, 1670-1698).  Pepys 3.137; EBBA 21148.  Gender – courtship, femininity, masculinity; Employment – apprenticeship/service.  A young man sets out the faults of all the maidens he courted before he finally settled his affections on the wonderful Joan (picture placement: he stands in pride of place beneath the title, alongside a woman who looks in his direction).

The Careless Gallant: Or, A farewel to Sorrow (F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke, 1675-1680).  Pepys 4.241; EBBA 21901.  Recreation – good fellowship, alcohol, music, food; Death – general; Gender – sex; Employment – professions; Economy – money; Politics - court. A man trumpets the advantages of extravagant good fellowship, arguing that it is the only sensible response to the transitory nature of life (picture placement: he appears in between a Man with purse and an image of two other carousers).

A CARROUSE TO THE Emperour, the Royal Pole, And the much-wrong’d DUKE of LORRAIN (P. Brooksby, 1684). Roxburghe 4.2; EBBA 30807. Recreation – alcohol, good fellowship, coffee; Politics – foreign affairs, domestic, Tories/Whigs; Royalty – praise; News – international; Employment – sailors/soldiers; Emotions – excitement, joy, disdain; Gender – masculinity; Bodies – injury; Death – warfare;  Violence – between states; Places – European, extra-European; Religion – general. This celebrates the defeat of the Ottoman army by Christian forces at Vienna in 1683, and argues that alcohol is the finest imaginable aid to military bravery (picture placement: he stands beneath the title, flanked by soldiers on both sides).

Christopher Marsh

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Related Texts

As noted in the Song history, Thompson’s white-letter version of the song was also published in several songbooks. Three verses were published by John Playford and James Hindmarsh in Thomas D'Urfey, Several New Songs (1684) while all six verses of the broadside version were printed in Thompson’s loyal songbook collections: Nathaniel Thompson’s Choice Collection of 120 Loyal Songs (1684), 117 and his Choice Collection of 180 Loyal Songs (1685), 71.

For a discussion of the many political songs published in relation to the siege of Vienna, see Anders Ingram, ‘The Ottoman siege of Vienna, English ballads, and the exclusion crisis’, Historical Journal, 57.1 (2014) 53-80.

Angela McShane

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A CARROUSE/ TO THE/ Emperour, the Royal Pole,/ And the much-wrongd DUKE of LORRAIN.

To a New Tune at the PLAY-HOUSE

[Play each verse by clicking anywhere within its text]


HArk! I hear the Cannons Roar,

Ecchoing from the German Shore,

And the joyful News come’s o’re,

that the Turks are all confounded,

Loorane comes, they Run they Run,

Charge with your Horse throw the grand half-moon,

And give quarter unto none,

since Starenberge is wounded.


Close your Ranks, and each brave Soul,

Fill a lusty Flowing Bowl,

A Grand Carrouse to the Royal Pole,

the Empires brave Defender:

Let no man leave his Post by stealth,

Plunder the Barbarous Visieurs wealth,

Wee’l drink a Helmet full, the Health,

of Second Alexander.


Fill the Helmet once again,

To the Emperors happy Reign,

And the much wrong’d Duke Lorrain,

but when they’ve beat the Turks home:

Not a Soul the Field will leave,

Till they do again retrieve,

What the Mounsier does deprive,

and fix him in his Dukedom.


Then will be the Scheme of War,

When such drinking Crowns prepare,

Those that Love, the Mounsiers fear,

their Courage will be shrinking,

Loyal Hearts inspir’d with Hock,

Who can form a Better Rock,

The French will never stand the Shock,

for all their Clarret Drinking.


Mahomet was a senceless Dogg,

A Coffee-drinking drowsie Rogue,

The use of the Grape so much in vogue,

to deny to those adore him;

Had he allow’d the Fruits of the Vine,

And gave them leave to Carrouse in Wine,

They all had freely past the Rhine,

and Conquer’d all before them.


Coffee Rallys no retreat,

Wine can only do the Feat,

Had their Force been twice as great,

and all of Janazaries,

Tho’ he had drank the Danube dry

And all their profit could supply,

By his interest from the Skye,

brisk Langoon ne’re miscarry’d.


Infidels are now o’re=come,

The most Christian Turk at home,

Watch’d the Fate of Christendom,

but all his hopes are shallow:

Since the Poles have led the Dance,

If Englands Monarch will advance;

And if he’l send a Fleet to Fr___,

he’s a Whigg that will not follow.


Printed for P. Brooksby in West-Smithfield.

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This ballad is included according to the criteria for List B (see Methodology). The evidence presented here is accurate, to the best of our knowledge, as of 1st January 2024.

No. of known editions c. 1560-1711: 5

No. of extant copies: 8

Appearances on publishers' lists: none.

Other registrations with Stationers' Company: none.

3-yr periods that produced multiple editions: 1683-85 (3).

New tune titles generated: '[The] cannons rore' (7 ballads); 'Hark [how/hark] the thundering cannons roar' (16 ballads); 'Thundering cannons roar' (3 ballads); and 'Hark I hear the cannons roar' (3 ballads).

Specially-commissioned woodcuts: none known.

Pre-1640 bonus: no.

POINTS: 10 + 8 + 0 + 0 + 18 + 30 + 0 + 0 = 66

[On this ballad, see also Angela McShane, Political Broadside Ballads of Seventeenth-Century England, no. 693X]

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