Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Singing in Tribulation.

 Singing Tree.Single-Speech Hamilton. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Singing in Tribulation.
Confessing when put to the torture. Such a person is termed in gaol slang a “canary bird.”   1
        “‘This man, sir, is condemned to the galleys for being a canary-bird.’ ‘A canary-bird! exclaimed the knight. ‘Yes, sir,’ added the arch-thief; ‘I mean that he is very famous for his singing.’ ‘What!’ said Don Quixote: ‘are people to be sent to the galleys for singing?’ ‘Marry, that they are,’ answered the slave, ‘for there is nothing more dangerous than singing in tribulation.”—Cervantes: Don Quixote, iii. 8.

 Singing Tree.Single-Speech Hamilton. 


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