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Since the pox, or the plague, Z471

composer
Choice Ayres and Songs, 1679
author of text

 
This is probably one of Purcell’s earliest surviving songs, especially as scholarship has to doubt the attribution of most songs written before 1678 to the young Henry (giving their authorship instead to his father, also named Henry). This song was first published in 1679 in Choice Ayres and Songs to Sing. The subject matter – a man who has had enough of women – is not serious, and Purcell’s setting is suitably boisterous. Most of the ‘women o’ the town’ have a ‘pox’ (an infection) of inconstancy, we hear, and no sensible man would ‘trouble his brains’ to get them into bed with him.

The subtext also contains more serious undertones of the real diseases which could be caught (and were extremely prevalent in the unrepressed atmosphere of the post-Restoration period) if the man did make one of the ‘lewd devils lie down’. Our poet decides that he will instead gain his pleasures in ‘friendship, freedom and wine’, and does so in a rollicking duet with the bass. Instead of worshipping the goddess of love, Venus, he will turn his attention to Bacchus, god of drink, forget the troubles of the world, and fill his glass.

from notes by Robert King 2003

Recordings

Purcell: Secular solo songs, Vol. 1
CDA66710Archive Service; also available on CDS44161/3
Purcell: The complete secular solo songs
CDS44161/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Details

Track 19 on CDA66710 [1'24] Archive Service; also available on CDS44161/3
Track 19 on CDS44161/3 CD1 [1'24] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDS44161/3 disc 1 track 19

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-94-71019
Duration
1'24
Recording date
29 March 1994
Recording venue
Orford Church, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Purcell: Secular solo songs, Vol. 1 (CDA66710)
    Disc 1 Track 19
    Release date: March 1994
    Deletion date: February 2010
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44161/3
  2. Purcell: The complete secular solo songs (CDS44161/3)
    Disc 1 Track 19
    Release date: November 2003
    3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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