Thought it was about time to post a review of one of my favorite "inspirational cds" for painting my ECW figs. The Baltimore Consort plays music of the 16th-18th C. as a consort (type of period ensemble) with authentic instruments and accessible interpretation. So they sound good and are also generally understandable, basically. This fall marks the beginning of the group’s 31st season as one of America’s favorite early music ensembles. The Consort has made fourteen recordings on the Dorian label and has toured widely in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
My favorite recording from them for the ECW is "The Art of the Bawdy Song" with the Merry Companions (a pick-up catch song and beer swilling group, far as I can tell - the certainly look like they're having fun in the album's pics!). These songs are from an earlier period and would probably be either "old favorites" by the 1640s or have been reworked to similar melodies. However the lyrics are priceless and the subjects timeless and of great interest to all soldiers from the Phoenicians to the SEALS. You also learn a lot about the culture in a "first-hand" manner more like a memoir than a secondary source history. And how can you not like lyrics such as:
You're a rogue, you've cheated me, I'll prove before this Company,
I caren't a farthing sir, for all you are so stout!
Sir you lye, I scorne your word, or any man that wears a sword,
for all you huff who cares a Turd, or - 'Who cares for you!?'
[can't you just see the overdressed, boozing officers in a tavern?]
Other songs include "The Old Fumbler", "My THING is My Own", & "Come, come, let us drink". Also to my amusement I learned that "the Irish Jig" is period slang for sex. Perhaps in a field, hard to tell from the song. And the song is hilarious.
Anyway, I've three other albums by them, and they are NOT bawdy but are still very well done. They provide a refreshing change of pace from the modern rat race and help us to enter another time and place, and isn't that one of the draws of historical wargaming? Perhaps a future post will feature the opinions of my commanders upon their men's off-duty activities...