Mary for the Love of Thee (Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay)

DESCRIPTION: "Mary, for the love of thee, Blythe and glad may we be, And I shall sing...." "The first joy was sent to thee, When Gabriel greeted thee." And so through the five Joys of Mary. Chorus: "Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Gaude celi domina"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1537 (Richard Hill MS., Balliol Coll. Oxf. 354, folio 165b)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad MiddleEnglish
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Greene-TheEarlyEnglishCarols, #232, pp. 164-165, "(no title)" (3 texts)
Brown/Robbins-IndexOfMiddleEnglishVerse, #2098
DigitalIndexOfMiddleEnglishVerse #3413
ADDITIONAL: Roman Dyboski, _Songs, Carols, and Other Miscellaneous Poems from the Balliol Ms. 354, Richard Hill's Commonplace Book_, Kegan Paul, 1907 (there are now multiple print-on-demand reprints), #29, pp. 15-16, "(Ay, Ay. Ay, Ay)" (1 text)
Richard Greene, editor, _A Selection of English Carols_, Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series, Oxford/Clarendon Press, 1962, #51, pp. 111-112, "(A, a, a, a, Gaude celi domina)" (1 text)
MANUSCRIPT: {MSEngPoetE1}, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. Poet. e.1 (Bodley 29734), folio 45
MANUSCRIPT: {MSRichardHill}, The Richard Hill Manuscript, Oxford, Balliol College MS. 354, folio 223
MANUSCRIPT: {MSCambridgeS54}, Cambridge, St. John’s College MS. S.54 (Cambridge University 259), folio 2

NOTES [215 words]: According to Richard Greene, editor, A Selection of English Carols, Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series, Oxford/Clarendon Press, 1962, p. 221, the twelfth line in his text, "Enixa est perpetua," is from the Latin hymn "A solis ortus cardinale." He notes that his text, based on Bodleian MS. Eng. Poet. e.1 (Bodleian 29734), replaces the last of the standard five Joys, the Assumption, with the Last Judgment. Which makes Mary rather less merciful than in most Catholic traditions!
There is no proof that this piece is traditional, but there is good evidence that it was at least somewhat popular. The first is its inclusion in the Hill manuscript, which includes some folk pieces, and in Bodleian MS. Eng. poet e.1, which is thought to date from the fifteenth century and includes many popular pieces. And there is another manuscript copy Cambridge, St. John's College MS. S.54 (259), which consists mostly of carols..
Any text found in three such significant manuscripts probably belongs in the Index in some form.
For the Joys of Mary, see "The Seven Joys of Mary."
For more about the famous anthology Bodleian MS. Eng. Poet. e.1 (Bodleian 29734), see the notes to "The Golden Carol (The Three Kings)." Interestingly, St. John's College MS. S.54 also contains both that carol and this. - RBW
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