Hamlet, the Song

Arthur Murphy (1727-1805), Hamlet [sheet music] (London: Goulding &D’Almaine, 1822?). Cover illustration by George Cruikshank (1792-1878). Graphic Arts (GA) Cruik 1822.45

British artist George Cruikshank is known for his caricatures, book illustrations, and oil paintings but he also designed sheet music. This song for voice and piano, based on the story of Hamlet is a good example (first and last pages shown here). The final verse goes:

So then he stabbed his liege,
Then fell on Ophy’s brother,
And so the Danish Court,
All tumbled one on t’other.
To celebrate these deeds,
Which are from no false shamlet,
Every Village small,
Hence-forth was called a Hamlet.

The Princeton University Library holds several dozen pieces of sheet music illustrated by Cruikshank. Here are a few:

William Hone (1780-1842), Great Gobble Gobble Gobble, and Twit Twittle Twit, or Law, Versus Common Sense: being a twitting report of successive attacks on a tom tit, his stout defenses & final victory: a new song with original music ([London]: Published by William Hone, [ca.1817]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1818.36
The Song refers to William Hone, and the design represents a farmyard with the different characters engaged in the trial as domestic birds, notably Lord Ellenborough as a turkey and William Hone as a tom-tit.

Jacob Beuler, Tea in the Arbour; a Comic Song written by J. Beuler, and sung with great applause by Mr. Fitzwilliam (London: B. Williams [1819?]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 1819.9q

Jonathan Blewitt (1782-1853), Wery Ridiculous! Or, Fickle Miss Nicholas; a new comic song, sung by Mr. Keeley, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. The words by Mr. Beuler … (London: Keith, Prowse & Co. [18—]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 18—q

George Colman (1762-1836), Barney Buntline and Billy Bowling, or, The Advantages of Being at Sea (London: Printed and published by Clementi, Collard & Collard, between 1822 and 1830]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 18—.99f

Dolly and the Rat, or, The Brisket Family: a burlesque, tragic, comic, operatic parody on The maid and magpie, with songs, &c. &c. in two acts … : now performing with acclamations of applause at the Olympic Theatre (London: Printed and published by Duncombe … 1823) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1823.27

Mathews in America, or, The Theatrical Wanderer: a cargo of new characters, original songs, and concluding piece of the Wild goose chase, or, The inn at Baltimore (London: Printed by & for Hodgson & Co. … [1823]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1823.7

Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), Songs, Naval and National, of the Late Charles Dibdin; with a memoir and addenda (London: John Murray, 1841) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1841.3