Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

They're Not Writing Songs Like That Anymore

Last night the bedresting MrsDarwin was watching the 2007 adaptation of Northanger Abbey.  I wandered through during one of those Austen movie, posh-dancing scenes, and suddenly doubled over laughing.  MrsDarwin raised an eyebrow in my direction, and once I recovered my composer I was able to explain.

The music being used for the elegant dance was a tune that I knew from one of the odd pleasures of my youth, a somewhat unusual CD entitled How the World Wags which featured low brow music from the 1600s. The particular song being used in Northanger Abbey was entitled "Seldome Cleanely".

The song opens:
DRaw neere you Countrey Girles,
and lissen unto me,
Ile tell you here a new conceit
concerning Huswifery,
concerning Huswifery,

Three Aunts I had of late,
good Huswifes all were they:
But cruel death hath taken
the best of them away,
O the best of them away.

O this was one of my Aunts,
the best of all the three:
And surely though I say it myselfe
A cleanly woman was she,
A cleanly woman she she.
And the tone is pretty well set by the verse that I remembered and which allowed me to find the full lyrics via Google:
The smallest candles end,
my Aunt would never loose:
It would helpe to make her puddings fat,
With the droppings of her nose,
Really, Seldome Cleanely is just a bit rambunctious. The real star of the album was the rather more famous Pox On You For A Fop by none other than Henry Purcell. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Brandon said...

That was definitely a different kind of Purcell.