chapter  2
40 Pages

“The Hanging Tune”: Feminizing and Stigmatizing Broadside Trade Melodies

In Margaret Cavendish’s play The Comical Hash (1668), the Lady Censurer offers a performance of several melodies popular in the seventeenth-century broadside ballad trade:

I was to sing them a Song for my money; so I sung them an old Song, the burden of the Song, Oh women, women, monstrous women, what do you mean for to do? but because the Song was against women, they would have had me given them their money back again … so then I sung them Doctor Faustus that gave his Soul away to the Devill; for I knew Conjurers and Devills pleased women best.1