Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
311. (Abstemius 61) A Son Singing at his Mother's Funeral.
There was a good Man that follow'd his Wife's Body to the Grave, weeping, and wailing all the Way he went, while his Son follow'd the Corps singing. Why Sirrah, says the Father, You should howl, and wring your Hands, and do as I do, ye Rogue you; and not go Sol-Fa-ing it about like a Mad-man. Why Father, says he, You give the Priests Money to sing, and will you be angry with me for giving ye a Song Gratis? Well, says the Father, but that which may become the Priests, will not always become you. 'Tis their Office to sing, but it is your Part to cry.
Funeral Tears are as arrantly hir'd out as Mourning Cloaks: and so are the very Offices: And whether we go to our Graves snivelling or singing, 'tis all but according to the Fashion of the Country, and meer Form.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.