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D'Urfey, Thomas

D'Urfey, Thomas dûr´fē [key], 1653–1723, English songwriter and dramatist. His comedies for the stage were forerunners of the ballad opera. In 1699–1700 Wit and Mirth or, Pills to Purge Melancholy, which included his own witty, satirical songs and many older tunes adapted to new lyrics, played in London. This was a major source for ballad operas, including the tunes of John Gay's Beggar's Opera.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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