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The Pleasures of Spring Gardens, Vauxhall

First line:
Flora, goddess sweetly blooming
author of text

The song Spring Gardens (Rural Beauty or Vaux-Hal Garden) is written by Dr William Boyce (baptized 1711-1779), a British organist and composer of trio sonatas, concerti grossi, odes and operas as well as songs for the gardens.

The text by John Lockman is every bit as diverting as the music itself. His lyrics for Vauxhall songs, set to music by Boyce and Handel, could never be considered great poetry, but were apparently enjoyed by the Vauxhall audiences. Lockman’s songs about Vauxhall and its charms regularly included some reference to the well-loved Prince Frederick Louis and more usually, to his wife Princess Augusta as wherever they went, the public were bound to follow. In Spring Gardens, Princess Augusta is referred to as ‘the Lady of the May’ and ‘ye Queen of May’.

This song appears under various titles and is contained in several sources including George Bickham’s Musical Entertainer (1737-1739). Many Vauxhall songs were in circulation before they were performed at the gardens and were reprinted in subsequent collections or song sheets.

from notes by Bridget Cunningham © 2017


Handel: Handel at Vauxhall, Vol. 2
Studio Master: SIGCD479Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
London Pride
CDA67457Last few CD copies remaining
Songs from the Pleasure Garden
SIGCD101Download only


Track 8 on CDA67457 [3'38] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 4 on SIGCD101 [3'04] Download only
Track 1 on SIGCD479 [3'21] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD101 track 4

Recording date
22 December 1999
Recording venue
Concert Hall, Manchester University, United Kingdom
Recording producer
John H West
Recording engineer
Geoff Miles
Hyperion usage
  1. Songs from the Pleasure Garden (SIGCD101)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: May 2007
    Download only
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