Tag Archives: medieval carols

A Nonsense Carol

Yet more nonsense in this post.  But in my defence, looking at parody is a good way of finding out about literary form (and we all  need cheering up after the fifteenth-century misery…).  As Eric Stanley writes in a very good article on parody in Middle English, ‘for literary parody established literary forms are needed’ (Poetica, 27 (1988)).  Today’s lyric (scroll down for a text, somewhat modernised, and a translation) is a Tudor nonsense carol, surviving in a collection in the Huntington Library in a compilation of mid-sixteenth-century printed texts.  We don’t know its exact date or who printed it.  But it is an ingenious parody of the late medieval carol.  It also features a monkey…

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