Urfey, Thomas d

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Urfey, Thomas ď

Urfey, Thomas ď English playwright and poet; b. Exeter, 1653; d. London, Feb. 26, 1723. He produced about 30 plays, the songs in some of which were set to music by Purcell (e.g. The Comical History of Don Quixote,in 3 parts, 1694-96). He ingratiated himself into the circle of Charles II by his talent for singing his poems, adapted to popular airs of his time. Between 1683 and 1710 he publ. several collections of airs with music, and in 1719 he ed. Songs Compleat, Pleasant and Divertive (5 vols., his own songs assembled in Vols. 1 and 2). This was reissued the same year under the better-known title Wit and Mirth: or Pills to Purge Melancholy (a 6thvol. was added in 1720), and the whole was reprinted and ed. by C. Day (N.Y., 1959).


C. Day, The Songs of T D’U.(Cambridge, Mass., 1933).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire