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Art of the Bawdy Song

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Performer: Baltimore Consort
  • Composer: Purcell; Aldridge; D'urfey
  • Audio CD (March 1 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dor
  • ASIN: B000001Q93
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,863 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Aniseed Robin
2. Cuckolds All A-Row
3. I Gave Her Cakes And I Gave Her Ale
4. Taking His Beer With Old Anacharsis
5. Fye, Nay, Prithee John
6. Cold And Raw
7. The Miller's Daughter
8. Will Said To His Mammy
9. The Old Fumbler
10. Walking In a Meadowe Greene
11. Celia Learning On The Spinnet
12. Tom the Taylor
13. My Lady's Coachman John
14. The Irish Jig Or The Night Ramble
15. Come Sirrah Jacke Hoe
16. Dainty Fine Aniseed Water
17. Most Men Do Love the Spanish Wine
18. Argreers
19. Gathering Peascods
20. My Lady And Her Maid
See all 33 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Pièces de Purcell, Weelkes, Blow, d'Urfey, etc. / The Baltimore Consort & The Merry Companions - date de sortie : 01/09/1998

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
On this recording, the Baltimore Consort and the Merry Companions are full of fun, both blatant and tongue-in-cheek. Soprano Custer La Rue and the instrumentalists of the Consort are joined by a quartet of classical male singers (Peter Becker, Alexander Blachly, Paul Shipper and James Weaver) with quite a theatrical sense of humor. The two groups take turns presenting ribald tavern songs of merry old England, interspersed by light, catchy instrumentals listed in the credits as the "Prelewd", the "Interlewd" and a "Fresh Ayre". Drinking, sex and other bodily functions are both celebrated and ridiculed in songs that are cleverly worded and enthusiastically sung, and in at least one case, accompanied by a mysterious instrument (reminiscent of P.D.Q. Bach) called a "fartophone". Especially amusing are the "catches" or rounds, and the new meanings that result from the staggering of words when several different verses are all sung together. It sounds silly, and is silly, but that's the point of it all--celebrating the "earthier flavor" of life 17th and 18th century England. My copy came with a parental advisory sticker stuck fast to the case, but my mother didn't seem overly concerned, and in fact enjoyed it too when I played it for her! For more fun Renaissance vocals, both salacious and serious, try "All At Once Well Met: English Madrigals" by the King's Singers, and "The King's Singers' Madrigal History Tour: Italy, England, France, Spain, Germany" by the King's Singers and the Consort of Musicke.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great collection of songs,mostly taken from d'Urfey's "Pills to purge melancholy", along with some catches from Purcell etc included. It's hard to find the ideal recording of this sort of ribald stuff- it seems each recording has some flaws.
The Baltimore consort, with Custer La Rue as chief vocal have done an incredible job with this music. I never get tired of her lovely voice, and the life she brings to these songs. The instrumentals are fabulous (mixed consort settings on period instruments). Two of the best numbers are "cold and raw the wind did blow"...and "my thing is my own"- these typify the wonderful momentum and gorgeous musical phrasing they bring to the music- five stars for them.
Unfortunately, the album includes songs from a group of male vocalists who gathered together as "the merry companions". What a huge mistake. The inside of the program notes shows them gathered around some tankards of ale. I think they must have spent too much time drinking and no time at all thinking (or rehearsing). The vocals are brash and not well-tuned and for such lively content, they are sometimes sluggish too. They went for the "rugged tavern" sound at the expense of the music. If I were at a tavern or renaissance faire, and heard some drunken louts singing these catches, I'd love it- what wonderful fun! But this is a CD that I paid to listen to, and they should have rehearsed. I don't like to pay for this kind of impromptu junk- if D'Urfey and Purcell bothered to write it down and set it to notes, the performers should get it right and it should sound like music. Often they have chosen to set these in too low a register, or without instrumentals that might help lift up the sluggish character.
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Format: Audio CD
This style of music has always appealed to me. Having had the opportunity to perform in various groups that specialized in the music of this period, I thought that I had a pretty good grasp of the vocal music of the time. When I used to think of the music of the Elizabethan age the feeling I had of it was that it was beautiful, but prudish. After listening to this CD, I can see that I was woefully misinformed.
The melodies of the songs are delightful weavings of instraments and the human voice. The real joy of the CD, however, is in the lyrics. The lyrics revel in drinking, flatulence and wanton carnality while somehow managing not to sound crude. In many of the songs such as the "Irish Jig" and "My Man John" I could not help but laugh aloud. Although the focus of this CD is on bawdy songs, there are also many fine instrumental bits and some songs that simply revel in the more simple pleasures of life.
All toll, this CD is an eye opening, funny and entertaining work that is well worth owning.
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Format: Audio CD
From the opening instrumental this CD fills the listener's mind with images of sunny open fields, a busy Medieval or Renaissance city, or better yet, a popular corner pub complete with a burly barkeep and a saucy barmaid.
I found myself humming these catchy melodies over and over, and at first listening the songs are very melodious and beautiful...and then you start to understand the words the performers are singing. This CD is titled "Bawdy" for a reason.
The songs range from those that are true drinking songs such as "'Tis women makes us love. 'Tis love that makes us sad. 'Tis sad that makes us drink. And drinking makes us mad!" But there are a few on the other end of the spectrum, full of pure bawdiness. The most forthcoming, in my opinion, is My Man John, a story in song about a maid named Mary who broke the handle of her hair broom, but man John had a replacement for her. "My man John had a thing that was long. My maid Mary had a thing that was hairy." It only progresses from there and I'll let your imagination fill in the rest, or better yet, purchase this CD and find out! In truth there is nothing bad about there lyrics unless taken out of context, which one can't hope to avoid.
I highly recommend The Art of Bawdy Song for all of those interested in early music, drinking songs, or just looking for something different. You won't be disappointed.
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