Monday, February 6, 2012

Watch the Byrd-ie

Another post from my i-Pod, as I'm still short of pictures. Too wet and dull most of the weekend to get out even for bird pictures.

So instead I bring you a Byrd song.

William Byrd (1539 or 1540 – 1623) is likely my second favourite English composer, after Purcell.

Unlike Purcell he lived to a ripe old age and he was hugely productive. Astonishingly and pleasingly much of this work has come down to us.

But from my i-Pod this morning comes, Tessa Bonner, The Rose Consort of Viols and Red Byrd

 Rejoice Unto The Lord. 

Elizabeth I reigned from 1558 and this is in celebration of her 28th year and so if my math is right it ought to date from 1586. 

Rejoice unto the lord with mirth, which us from foreign fears
Preserved hath in quiet state these eight and twenty years, Amen
The mercies of the lord our God pour’d down upon this land
Doth far surmount in quantity the number of the sand;
So that the people Israel did never feel or see
More certain tokens of God’s love in their delivery
Than we of England, whom the lord hath blessed these many years
Through his handmaid, Elizabeth, in peace from foreign fears;
Whereas the nations on each side with troubles are beset,
Devoid of peace and quietness, and live in terrors great.

Those were the days eh?

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