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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City Waites - The English Tradition, 12 Feb 2003
By 
John Puntis (Belmont Grove, Leeds United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The English Tradition: 400 Years of Music & Song (Audio CD)
This is a jewel of a CD for any like me who enjoy both history and English popular music, as in music of the ordinary people. I have simply played it time and again, entranced by the first rate musicianship that brings to life songs and dances from the last four hundred years. The performers sound as if they are having a whale of a time and their enthusiasm is infectious. Lucy Skeaping's voice is a delight and together with the period instruments and superb musical arrangements this album comprises a hugely entertaining slice of history that makes you want to jump up and start making music, or failing that, play it from the beginning again! It is likely that many of these lyrics would not have been heard in salons and drawing rooms, but it certainly wasn't the rich that had all the best tunes.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A time you wouldn't want to go back to, 13 Aug 2011
This review is from: The English Tradition: 400 Years of Music & Song (Audio CD)
Here in the comfort of your own living room is the soundtrack to centuries of horror
The handheld view of mediaval England is one seen through rose tinted glasses-the jolly peasants on the village green belie the fact that there were Wars all over England or the towns were full of filth as sewage systems were in the long distant future.Work on the land was punishing and for very little pay
Now with the History Channel exploring just what it was like to live in those times you wonder how anyone managed to actually live even with life expectantcy around the 30 mark.There was precious little in the way of medicines or hospitals-no anti biotics or anasthetics for anyone who was at the reciving end of a cannon in some War or other.People starved or froze to death
Music existed only as a background if it existed at all.Unless of course you were rich.The minstrels employed by the Courts would play classical melodies from Europe
The songs many handed down as Nursery Rhymes which still exist today are more representative of the times.There's no end of sex as this is all people had but the idea of the Family was to have a dozen kids who could then work the land-child labour began before the Industrial Revolution.
But these collections like the ones by Steeleye Span are never less than interesting and are an aural document of How We Lived
And today these times are recreated in what people imagined they were like
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The English Tradition: 400 Years of Music & Song
The English Tradition: 400 Years of Music & Song by City Waites (Audio CD - 2002)
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