The Water is Wide and Other Lute Songs

The Water is Wide and Other Lute Songs

by Nigel Perrin


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The Water is Wide and Other Lute Songs

This disc is anything but an attempt at a historically accurate interpretation of English lute songs; the booklet, indeed, cheerfully states that "lute accompaniments have been written combining period technique with original ideas reflecting the individual character of the songs." Those accompaniments might in many cases almost be described as folky, with arpeggiated chords setting a relaxed mood that puts the focus on the unspectacular but warm countertenor singing of Nigel Perrin. And that folkiness pervades the album, which has something of a 1960s feel. Perrin concentrates on old songs that have become familiar, through the efforts of folk song collectors of the early twentieth century and their disciples in the folk revival, to listeners of the present day. It will be quite a surprise, if one hasn't taken a close look at the tracklist, to hear "Scarborough Fair" or "The Water Is Wide" (the latter now perhaps even better known in the U.S. than in England or its original Scottish homeland, where it was called "O, Waly Waly") coming out of the speaker; these and other songs are done with the lyrics that evolving tradition has given them rather than in older styles. Another group ("The Three Ravens," "Brigg Fair," and perhaps "John Barleycorn") is perhaps slightly less well known, and other tunes -- humorous, tragic, or romantic -- are cut from the same cloth but less familiar still. The result is something a good deal less common than a historically accurate lute song recording -- a performance that builds bridges between an old repertoire and the music of modern consciousness. Full texts are provided but are only occasionally needed, for Perrin sings everything musically and articulates the words clearly. This is a disc with considerable appeal to the average listener, but it will be of the greatest use to instructors who are trying to bring the bones of old English balladry to life for their students.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/10/2007
Label: Meridian
UPC: 5015959453925
catalogNumber: 84539


  1. The Water Is Wide, folk song
  2. Scarborough Fair
  3. Through Bushes and through Briars
  4. Tweedsyde (Mr. Beck, Balcarres Lute Book)
  5. Lillibulero, lute song
  6. Over the Sea to Skye (a.k.a. "The Skye Boat Song")
  7. I love my love, in secret (John morisons way) (Mr. Beck, Balcarres Lute Book)
  8. The Turtle Dove
  9. John Barleycorn, folk song
  10. The Three Ravens, folk song
  11. Bridgewater Fair
  12. The Cuckoo
  13. The Captain's Apprentice, folk song
  14. I Cannot Keepe My Wife at Howme, folk song
  15. Kemps Jig
  16. Woe worth the tyme (from Thomas Wode's Partbooks)
  17. Since First I Saw Your Face, song for 4 voices & instruments
  18. Market Is Done, folk song
  19. Brigg Fair, folk song
  20. The Gillyflower, folk song
  21. Dance to your Daddy
  22. Greensleeves, English folk song
  23. The Wexford Carol ("Good People All, This Christmastime") (Enniscorthy Carol) (Irish)
  24. The Cobbler's Hornpipe (from Playford)
  25. The Wealthy Farmer's Son (or "The Honest Ploughman"), folk song
  26. Come My Children Dere, folk song
  27. Joy to the Person of My Love
  28. Work(s): Scots Dance
  29. Then Wilt Thou Go, folk song
  30. Hollow My Fancie, folk song
  31. Fairest Isle (from "King Arthur"), aria for soprano, Z. 628/38
  32. When Celia I Intend to Flatter You, song for voice & lute
  33. When Laura Smiles

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