Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hem!

I mentioned this round (Young Colin Cleaving of a Beam) by Henry Purcell in a comment on Boob Pencil recently. It may come as a surprise to people who know him only as the composer of Dido and Aeneas, or of the tune on which Benjamin Britten based his Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra, that Henry P actually wrote several very rude rounds. The way they work is that the first voice sings the first verse, then someone else comes in and repeats that while the first singer goes on to do the next one, and so on until all the verses are overlaid on top of each other. The humour (and vulgarity) comes from what ends up alongside what. In Colin it's mostly grunts and shrieks so that by the end it's like the diner scene in When Harry Met Sally, only in harmony. In When Celia Was Learning On The Spinet To Play we have the coincidence of "show her" "a long prick" and "I will shake it". In Tom Making A Manteau the fragments are "pulled out", "nine inches", "yet all too short" . I'm sure you're getting the general idea. I expect there are mp3 downloads available but I haven't found them yet. I have them on old vinyl albums by The City Waites, and there are definitely versions on CD.

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