Henry Carey
(c.1687 - 1743)

The Tragical History of the Mare
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Carey was one of those Englishmen bemused by the success of Italian opera in London in the 1720s. This cantata "compos'd in the high style by Sigr. Carini" satirises the current fashion, by horseplay within the trappings of high art. It uses the mismatch of low subject and high falutin' treatment that was employed so successfully by The Beggar's Opera, four years later.
Lyrics: Henry Carey

Unhappy me! What shall I do?
My poor dear mare has lost her shoe,
And I've no money to buy new.
Some drunken rascal, in the night,
Has torn her saddle, out of spite:
'T has ruin'd and undone me quite!
But what does most my soul assail
Is that, in fury of his ale,
The cursèd dog has lopp'd her tail.

O mare, well may'st thou grumble;
Thy shoe is lost and thou must stumble.
Surely the fellow's brains were addle,
That cropp'd thy tail and tore thy saddle.