I seem to remember reading about Purcell being particularly targeted by this kind of mirthy-ful mis-attribution. My memory can well be wrong. Most of Purcell's music was published posthumously and it was very prolific (800 works for someone who died at age 36). Playford, the publisher of the Orpheus Britannicus, may have had an interest in stretching the attributions of (particularly bawdy) pieces to a famous and respected musician, if only just for fun and financial gain --

I am a little bit suspicious that such a high brow musician could also be the celebrated author of so many popular tavern songs. It is not impossible that he actually wrote 200 songs and 50 catches, all the while composing more serious stuff on the side just to make a living, but it does not seem impossible either that among those 250 very profane works some popular tunes directly issued from the taverns found their way under his name, for sheer publicity purposes. "Pox on you" and the "Indian queen" might be the fruits of the same mind, but did he have time to do both really? I admit I don't have any solid proof, but I am also highly suspicious of English publishing practices at the time (before the first copyrights law) . I would be happy to be proven wrong and recognize a truly ubiquitous genius. Also, theater music was definitely a source of income, but catches were unlikely to provide much financial support to the composer, while they would be for a publisher.

Just imagine if J.S. Bach was credited by a contemporary publisher with a song entitled  "Once, twice, thrice, I Julia tried", would that raise an eye brow?? Just curious: did Mozart compose anything we'd consider "bawdy" or tavern material?? Or other composers, besides Lasso??

On 08/09/2018 10:06 PM, howard posner wrote:
On Aug 9, 2018, at 9:15 PM, Alain Veylit <al...@musickshandmade.com> wrote:

  Like Henry Purcell, who seems to have found his name attached to a very large 
number of bawdy songs in 17th century England, if I recall correctly.
Is there any reason to think he didn’t write the music for all those catches?  
I’m not aware that his authorship has ever been questioned.

He lived in an age of relaxed sexual mores and worked a great deal in the 

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