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Track(s) taken from CDA66710

Since the pox, or the plague, Z471

Choice Ayres and Songs, 1679
author of text

Charles Daniels (tenor), Michael George (bass), The King's Consort
Recording details: March 1994
Orford Church, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: March 1994
Total duration: 1 minutes 24 seconds


'An auspicious launch to a project that will probably have no real competiton for years to come; I recommend it heartily' (Fanfare, USA)

'An exceptional recording with consummate singing and playing which is worthy of pride of place in any vocal collection' (CDReview)
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

Other albums featuring this work

Purcell: The complete secular solo songs
CDS44161/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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