melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.
• from Act III, Scene 2 of All's Well That Ends Well
The Earl of Oxford's March is the song. You can guess who the man is.
William Byrd (c. 1540-1623) wrote it for me. I don't recall the exact date, I think it was not long after the defeat of the Armada. There are a wide variety of recordings of my march on YouTube, so I made a playlist with some of my favourites. It was originally written as a solo piece for the virginals, but modern arrangements tend to feature brass and kettledrums. The flavour is martial.
Byrd is credited with being the greatest composer of the English Renaissance, or depending on whom you ask, of the Renaissance altogether. Thomas Tallis was his teacher. Byrd sang like a... [sorry, too easy], and he played keys like an unplugged Rick Wakeman. He knew he was talented and he aimed high, to make a name for himself. He did this with the help of influential patrons [hint hint], including Elizabeth and myself. In addition to the stipend I provided, I once helped him out of serious hot water over a real-estate deal. His brother got my goodly manor, I got the song, and the English language got a new expression for selling something at a knockdown price. All good writing comes from life. I can't make this stuff up.
You won't find better than this 1998 article written by Sally Mosher for the SOF, if you want the backstory on my march, or as much of it as is known. The article's title refers to the larger work of which the march is (probably) a component.
Please note: the video at the top of this post is just one selection from the playlist, not the whole thing. Patreon doesn't display images for playlists, it looked ugly. Click the playlist link to hear them all.