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Track(s) taken from CDA67754

The Merry Wooing of Robin and Joan 'Sellengers Round'

before 1656; published in Wit Restored, 1656, Wit and Drollery, 1682; final verse from The Roxburghe broadsheet version
author of text

The City Waites, Lucie Skeaping (director), Douglas Wootton (tenor), Thomas Padden (baritone), Lucie Skeaping (soprano)
Recording details: April 2008
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Steve Portnoi & Lucie Skeaping
Engineered by Steve Portnoi
Release date: April 2009
Total duration: 6 minutes 21 seconds

Cover artwork: Bedroom scene by Jan Steen (c1626-1679)
Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Lucie Skeaping and The City Waites have given us several anthologies worth of enjoyably ribald fare over the years. This is their most substantial project yet … the listener becomes an active participant, imagining the décor, the costumes and attitudes of the characters, and the frequent bouts of slapstick, all of which are enacted as lustily as one expects … great performances, without doubt' (Gramophone)

'These performers … provide a fascinating, informative glimpse into what the general populace of England was enjoying … the singing and instrumental performances are as genially accomplished as ever … skeaping and the Waites let in a bracing breeze' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A truly unusual program of musical comedy all recorded for the first time … these are excellent performances' (American Record Guide)

'Clarity of diction, inventive direction and an infectious sense of fun combine to capture the spirit of the genre' (Early Music Today)

'This is definitely a disc to keep in your car for frustrating traffic-jams or other such moments when a little hilarity would be the perfect tonic. After all, who wouldn't be cheered at the prospect of hearing Catherine Bott and Lucie Skeaping scratching each others eyes out. Laugh? I couldn't stop' (Musical Criticism.com)
Dialogue ballads in which a Country Clown boasts of his ‘rustic wealth’ go back to the Middle Ages. Robin and Joan was published in Wit Restored (1656) and Wit and Drollery (1682), and on broadsheets with the tune direction ‘The Beginning of the World, Or, Sellengers Round, Or, Great Boobe’. For ‘Chi/Che’, ‘Cham’, ‘Chav’ etc., read ‘I’, ‘I am’, ‘I have’ etc.

Joan Gromball

Robin and his mother discuss his plan to dress smartly and brush up his manners in order to woo Joan Gromball once again. At first Joan mocks him for his lack of finesse and for being so insistent (‘‘You must’ (Sir Clown) is for the king’) but she is finally won over.

from notes by Lucie Skeaping © 2009

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