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Cardinal Richelieu—the Musical Hymns, Carols, and Popular Music in “His Red Eminence.”

“C’est un rempart que notre Dieu, une invincible armure. Notre délivrance en tout lieu, notre défense sûre. Satan, notre ennemi, en fureur s’est promis. D’user de son pouvoir. Pour vaincre et décevoir. Sur terre il n’y a plus d’abri,” sang Anne Rochefeuille as she played the harpsichord in the main drawing room of the Palais Cardinal, Cardinal Richelieu’s grand palace built just north of the Louvre and bequeathed to King Louis XIII upon his death on the 4th of December 1642. Though Americans rarely hear it in French, the first verse of the above hymn is well-known by Protestants around the world as “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” by Martin Luther.  It is, like so many songs in this latest biography, an unusual choice for the story of France’s greatest and most transformative first minister.

Armand-Jean Richelieu 1 small

Jean-Armand du Plessis, cardinal and duc de Richelieu transformed France into the first truly modern and secular state of the western world. Still essentially a collection of feudal states owing nominal loyalty to the king of France when he took up the bishopric of Luçon in 1608, the cardinal’s ability to put aside religious considerations in favour of complete subordination of the French people and its institutions to the king had inevitable cultural implications as well. Carefully patronizing writers, poets, dramatists, painters, sculptors, architects, composers, musicians, and other artisans, regardless of his personal opinions about their creations, his patient efforts carefully moved French culture into the celebrated baroque era we associate with King Louis XIV.

Red Eminence webIn my new biography, “His Red Eminence, Jean-Armand du Plessis de Richelieu,” I celebrate the cardinal’s life through music. Eight songs in French, Latin, and English fill these pages, helping the story to come alive. Given my habit for setting scenes during the Christmas holiday season, there are of course Christmas carols, more than any other book so far. 15th century French carol “Noël Nouvelet” makes an appearance, as does “Adeste Fideles” which was originally written by French monks in the medieval era but not translated to English as “O Come All Ye Faithful” until Victorian times.

Two decidedly English songs make an appearance: the 16th century English “Coventry Carol” is heard for the first time in one of my books as does the medieval version of the popular song “Quoth John to Joan.”

Popular French music arrives in the form of Pierre Guédon’s “Aux plaisirs, aux délices.”  Guédon’s music is very special because it’s one of the few surviving songs we have specific to King Louis XIII’s reign instead of dating to either the Valois dynasty or Louis XIV’s reign.

Aux plaisirs, aux délices, bergères,

Il faut ètre du temps ménagères,

Car il s’écoule et se perd d’heure en heure;

Et le regret seulement en demeure.

A l’àmour, aux plaisirs, au bocage

Employez les beaux jours de votre àge.

But perhaps the most poignant of the two popular music pieces in this book is also the most familiar.  “Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie” by Thoinot Arbeau is a love song written at the end of the 16th century. Popular with re-enactors, it is slow, stately and full of quiet passion. Just the sort of song that rises to the many diverse occasions found in not only this beautiful biography, but many of the Legendary Women of World History biographies as well.

We first encounter “Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie” in 1618 during Armand-Jean’s exile in Avignon when best friend Anne Rochefeuille sings the first two verses. Then, in 1628, facing the horrors of war and missing home and the love waiting for him in Paris, Armand-Jean sings verses three through eight for us, allowing us to hear the song in full. Drama arises when his song is overheard by Father Joseph, his “grey eminence” as history remembers him. For one of the most consistent sources of drama in this biography is the constant question by those around the good cardinal as to whether or not, and if so who, is he taking to his bed as his lover.

Historically, the question is never proven either way but rather is a matter of persistent rumour spanning his entire adult life.

My belief is that he did have a lover, a woman whom he loved and faithfully took to bed for over twenty years. But more than a vessel for his sexual appetites, she was best friend, confidant, nurse, and intellectual equal.  She was everything for Armand-Jean du Plessis that Katharina von Bora was for Martin Luther almost a century before—except of course that du Plessis could not marry her in the church without stepping down from the priesthood and his only means of supporting himself. Even after becoming a cardinal in 1622 and first minister of France in 1624, Richelieu’s economic survival depended on him keeping secret what the true nature of his relationship with his Anne really was. If the truth were ever discovered, the scandal stood to cost him not only his position (and the money he depended on to live), but his life as well.

 

With this dramatic context in mind, I invite you to enter King Louis XIII’s court with all its music and dance and courtly romance and intrigues to meet the real man you never knew from reading Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers.”

 

 

Lyrics: Quoth John to Joan (medieval)

Red Eminence webThe eighth and final song appearing in His Red Eminence is the first song I learned to sing in the Society for Creative Anachronism:  Quoth John to Joan.  Though there is a late Tudor version of this song, I prefer the original medieval version I learned all those years ago.

Quoth John to Joan

English

Quoth John to Joan wilt thou have me?

I prithee now wilt and I’se marry with thee.

My cow, my calf, my horse, my rents,

And all my lands and tenements.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

 

I’ve corn and hay in the barn hard by,

And three fat hogs pent up in the sty;

I have a mare and she is coal-black;

I ride on her tail to save her back.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

 

I have a cheese upon the shelf.

And I cannot eat it all myself.

I’ve three good marks that lie in rag,

In the nook of the chimney instead of a bag.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

 

To marry I would have thy consent,

But faith, I never could compliment.

I can say nought but hoy gee ho!

Words that belong to the cart and the plough.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

O say my Joan wilt not that do?

I cannot come ev’ry day to woo.

Lyrics: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott/C’est Un Rempart Que Notre Dieu/A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Martin Luther)

Red Eminence webThe seventh song appearing in His Red Eminence is well-known by Protestants around the world, though perhaps never heard before in FRENCH.  Watch for “C’est Un Rempart Que Notre Dieu” in chapter twelve, “Partings and Testaments” as Anne Rochefeuille receives some bad news.

 

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott/C’est Un Rempart Que Notre Dieu/A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

 

German 

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,

ein gute Wehr und Waffen.

Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,

die uns jetzt hat betroffen.

Der alt böse Feind

mit Ernst er’s jetzt meint,

groß Macht und viel List

sein grausam Rüstung ist,

auf Erd ist nicht seins gleichen.

 

Mit unsrer Macht ist nichts getan,

wir sind gar bald verloren;

es streit’ für uns der rechte Mann,

den Gott hat selbst erkoren.

Fragst du, wer der ist?

Er heißt Jesus Christ,

der Herr Zebaoth,

und ist kein andrer Gott,

das Feld muss er behalten.

 

Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär

und wollt uns gar verschlingen,

so fürchten wir uns nicht so sehr,

es soll uns doch gelingen.

Der Fürst dieser Welt,

wie sau’r er sich stellt,

tut er uns doch nicht;

das macht, er ist gericht’:

ein Wörtlein kann ihn fällen.

 

Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn

und kein’ Dank dazu haben;

er ist bei uns wohl auf dem Plan

mit seinem Geist und Gaben.

Nehmen sie den Leib,[7]

Gut, Ehr, Kind und Weib:

lass fahren dahin,

sie haben’s kein’ Gewinn,

das Reich muss uns doch bleiben.

 

French

C’est un rempart que notre Dieu,
Une invincible armure,
Un défenseur victorieux,
Une aide prompte et sûre.
L’Ennemi, contre nous,
Redouble de courroux:
Vaine colère!
Que pourrait l’Adversaire?
L’Eternel détourne ses coups.

 

Seuls, nous bronchons à chaque pas
Quand l’Ennemi nous presse.
Mais un héros pour nous combat
Et nous soutient sans cesse.
Quel est ce défenseur?
C’est toi, divin Sauveur,
Dieu des armées!
Tes tribus opprimées
Connaissent leur liberateur.

 

Que les démons, forgeant des fers,
Menacent ton Eglise,
Ta Sion brave les enfers,
Sur le rocher assise.
Constant dans son effort,
En vain, avec la mort,
Satan conspire.
Pour briser son empire,
Il suffit d’un mot du Dieu fort.

 

Dis-le, ce mot victorieux
Dans toutes nos détresses,
Et donne-nous, du haut des cieux,
Ta force et ta sagesse.
Qu’on nous ôte nos biens,
Qu’on serre nos liens,
Que nous importe!
Ta grâce est la plus forte,
Et ton royaume est pour les tiens.

 

English

A mighty fortress is our God,

A bulwark never failing:

Our helper He, amid the flood

Of mortal ills prevailing.

For still our ancient foe

Doth seek to work his woe;

His craft and power are great,

And armed with cruel hate,

On earth is not his equal.

 

Did we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side,

The Man of God’s own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is he;

Lord Sabaoth is his name,

From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.

 

And though this world, with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God hath willed

His truth to triumph through us.

The Prince of Darkness grim,

We tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure,

For lo! His doom is sure,

One little word shall fell him.

 

That word above all earthly powers—

No thanks to them—abideth;

The Spirit and the gifts are ours

Through him who with us sideth.

Let goods and kindred go,

This mortal life also:

The body they may kill:

God’s truth abideth still,

His kingdom is for ever.

Lyrics: Adeste Fideles (Cistercian Hymn)/Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Red Eminence webThe sixth song appearing in His Red Eminence is another very old Christmas carol that was only recently translated to English.  Adeste Fideles was written by Cistercian monks on medieval France sometime between the 6th and 12th centuries, but only recently, in 1841 came to the English language.

Adeste Fideles (Cistercian Hymn)/Oh Come All Ye Faithful (translated to English by Frederick Oakeley, 1841)

 

Latin

Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,

Venite, venite in Bethlehem.

Natum videte

Regem angelorum:

Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus

Dominum.

 

Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine

Gestant puellæ viscera

Deum verum, genitum non factum.

Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus

Dominum.

 

Cantet nunc io, chorus angelorum;

Cantet nunc aula cælestium,

Gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo,

Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus

Dominum.

 

Ergo qui natus die hodierna.

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,

Patris æterni Verbum caro factum.

Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus

Dominum.

 

English

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold him

Born the King of Angels:

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

 

God of God, light of light,

Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;

True God, begotten, not created:

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

 

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!

Glory to God, glory in the highest:

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

 

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;

Jesus, to thee be glory given!

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing!

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

Lyrics: Noël Nouvelet/Christmas Comes Anew (15th Century French)

Red Eminence webThe fifth song that appears in “His Red Eminence is another Christmas carol. This time we are going back to 15th century France for Noël Nouvelet which you can hear at the end of Christmas mass at the Louvre in chapter ten, “Confessions.”

 

Noël Nouvelet/Christmas Comes Anew (15th Century French)

 

French:

Noël nouvelet, Noël chantons icy;

Dévotes gens‚ rendons à Dieu merci;

Chantons Noël pour le Roi nouvelet;

Noël nouvelet!

Noël chantons icy!

 

En Bethléem‚ Marie et Joseph vy‚

L’asne et le boeuf‚ l’Enfant couché parmy;

La crèche était au lieu d’un bercelet.

Noël nouvelet!

Noël chantons icy!

 

L’estoile vint qui le jour esclaircy‚

Et la vy bien d’où j’etois départy

En Bethléem les trois roys conduisaient.

Noël nouvelet!

Noël chantons icy!

 

English:

Christmas comes anew, O let us sing Noel!

Glory to God! Now let your praises swell!

Sing we Noel for Christ, the new-born King,

Christmas comes anew, O let us sing Noel!

 

Angels did say, “O shepherds come and see,

Born in Bethlehem, a blessed Lamb for thee.”

Sing we Noel for Christ, the new-born King,

Christmas comes anew, O let us sing Noel!

 

In the manger bed, the shepherds found the child;

Joseph was there, and the Mother Mary mild.

Sing we Noel for Christ, the new-born King,

Christmas comes anew, O let us sing Noel!

 

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/no%C3%ABl-nouvelet-christmas-comes-anew.html

Lyrics: Veni, Veni

Red Eminence web

The oldest known Christmas carol is “Veni, Veni” which started out as a sung prayer in early medieval monasteries. Can it be any wonder it is also the most popular song to appear among my ten biographies?  You’ll first find it in “Catherine de Valois: French Princess, Tudor Matriarch” (recorded with an alternate tune by Richard Mann for the audio book). Next, look for it in “Empress Matilda of England.” Finally, enjoy it in “His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu.”  Here me perform the first two verses on soundcloud.

One of the most fascinating things about this song is that while it is very old in its original medieval Latin, it was not until the Victorian era that it was translated into English.  Here is both the medieval Latin and the English.

 

Veni, Veni/O Come, O Come Emmanuel

 

Medieval Latin

Veni, veni Emmanuel

Captivum solve Israel,

Qui gemit in exsilio,

Privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

Veni, O Sapientia,

Quae hic disponis omnia,

Veni, viam prudentiae

Ut doceas et gloriae.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

Veni, veni, Adonai,

Qui populo in Sinai

Legem dedisti vertice

In maiestate gloriae.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,

veni, Redemptor omnium,

ut salvas tuos famulos

peccati sibi conscios.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

English:

O Come, O come, Emmanuel,

and ransom captive Israel,

that morns in lonely exile here

until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

 

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,

and order all things far and nigh;

to us the path of knowledge show,

and teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,

who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height

in ancient times did give the law,

in cloud, and majesty, and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

 

O come, Desire of the nations, bind

in one the hearts of all mankind;

bid every strife and quarrel cease

and fill the world with heaven’s peace

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Hymni/VeniEmm.html

 

 

 

Lyrics: Coventry Carol (1534, by Robert Coo)

Red Eminence web

The third song you hear in “His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu” might surprise you. It is the Coventry Carol, one of the earliest English Christmas carols. Unlike the very secular “Drive the Cold Winter Away,”  Coventry Carol is religious and is among the oldest religious Christmas carols in the English language.

 

Coventry Carol (1534, by Robert Coo)

English:

Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child,

Bye bye, lully, lullay.

Thou little tiny child,

Bye bye, lully, lullay.

 

O sisters too, how may we do

For to preserve this day.

This poor youngling for whom we sing,

Bye bye, lully, lullay?

 

Herod the king, in his raging,

Chargèd he hath this day

His men of might in his own sight

All young children to slay.

 

That woe is me, poor child, for thee

And ever mourn and say

For thy parting neither say nor sing,

Bye bye, lully, lullay.

 

https://www.carols.org.uk/ba11-coventry-carol.htm

 

Lyrics: Aux plaisirs, aux délices (Pierre Guédon, 1566 to 1620)

Red Eminence webThe next song to appear in “His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu” is “Aux plaisirs, aux delices” by Pierre Guedon, one of the most popular song writers of King Louis XIII’s reign. In the book Anne Rochefeuille sings it as she plays it on the harpsichord, but you will most often hear recordings of it performed with baroque guitar.

 

Aux plaisirs, aux délices (Pierre Guédon, 1566 to 1620)

French:

Aux plaisirs, aux délices, bergères,

Il faut ètre du temps ménagères,

Car il s’écoule et se perd d’heure en heure;

Et le regret seulement en demeure.

A l’àmour, aux plaisirs, au bocage

Employez les beaux jours de votre àge

 

Les ruisseaux vont aux plaines fleuries,

Cajolant et baisant les prairies,

Le doux zéphir parle d’amour à Flore,

Et les oiseaux en parlent à l’aurore

 

Maintenant la saison vous convie

De passer, en aimant, votre vie.

Déjà la terre a pris sa robe verte,

D’herbe et de fleurs la campagne est couverte.

 

Ce qui vit, qui se meut qui respire,

D’amour parle, ou murmure, ou soupire;

Aussi le coeur qui n’en sent la peinture,

S’il est vivant, il est contre nature.

 

http://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=103608

Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie Lyrics

Red Eminence web

At long last it’s here! “His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu” is the latest biography by Legendary Women of World History historian Laurel A. Rockefeller. Eight songs appear in this epic tale of the most influential politician of modern France.  Here is the first song you hear, “Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie” by Thoinot Arbeau.

 

Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie (Thoinot Arbeau)

French

Belle qui tiens ma vie

Captive dans tes yeux,

Qui m’as l’ame ravie

D’un souris gracieux,

Viens tôt me secourir

Ou me faudra mourir.

Viens tôt me secourir

Ou me faudra mourir.

 

Pourquoi fuis-tu, mignarde,

Si je suis près de toi?

Quand tes yeux je regarde

Je me perds dedans moi,

Car tes perfections

Changent mes actions

Car tes perfections

Changent mes actions

 

Tes beautés et ta grâce

Et tes divins propos

Ont échauffe la glace

Qui me gelait les os,

Et ont rempli mon coeur

D’une amoureuse ardeur.

Et ont rempli mon coeur

D’une amoureuse ardeur.

 

Mon ame voulait être

Libre de passion,

Mais l’amour s’est fait maitre

De mes affections

Et a mis sous sa loi

Et mon coeur et ma foi.

Et a mis sous sa loi

Et mon coeur et ma foi.

 

Approche donc ma belle,

Approche-toi mon bien,

Ne me sois plus rebelle

Puisque mon coeur est tien,

Pour mon mal apaiser

Donne-moi un baiser.

Pour mon mal apaiser

Donne-moi un baiser.

 

Je meurs mon angelette,

Je meurs en te baisant.

Ta bouche tant doucette

Va mon bien ravissant.

À ce coup mes esprits

Sont tous d’amour épris

À ce coup mes esprits

Sont tous d’amour épris

 

Plutôt on verra l’onde

Contremont reculer,

Et plutôt l’œil du monde

Cessera de bruler,

Que l’amour qui m’époint

Décroisse d’un seul point.

Que l’amour qui m’époint

Décroisse d’un seul point.

 

English

Beautiful one who holds my life

Captive in your eyes,

Who has ravished my soul

With a gracious smile?

Come to my aid

Or I must die.

 

Why do you flee, dainty one,

If I am near you?

When I behold your eyes

I am lost inside myself

Because your perfection

 

Your beauty and your grace

And your divine ways

Have melted the ice

Which was freezing my bones

And have filled my heart

With a loving ardour.

 

My soul wanted to be

Free of passion,

But love became master

Of my affections

And put under its law

My heart and my faith.

 

Come near, my lovely one,

Come near, my [dear one],

Do not resist me further

For my heart is yours,

To relieve my ills

Give me a kiss.

 

I die, my Little Angel,

I die when kissing

Your mouth so sweet.

My very lovely one,

With that touch my spirits

Are completely lifted in love.

 

Sooner will waves

Flow backwards

And sooner will the moon

Cease to shine

Before the love which conquered me

Wanes a single iota.

 

http://www.users.on.net/~algernon/bellequitiens/translation.html

Lyrics to “The Streets of Edinburgh”

Of late a beautiful song by The Proclaimers is really capturing my imagination.  The song is called “The Streets of Edinburgh.”

Please watch the official video from youtube and read its lyrics here below:

“Streets Of Edinburgh”

Along these broken pavements
I let my mind run free
The past and the present
Seem just the same to me
The people I have loved most
Among these stones did dwell
And in the plainest language
Their stories they did tell
They pass, they pass
They pass, they pass
The streets of Edinburgh
Hold half the world for me
In scores, in droves
The living and the ghosts
The streets of Edinburgh
Mean most to me
Depending on your viewpoint
This place is blessed or cursed
And in the years I’ve lived here
I’ve seen the best and worst
An air of sordid passion
A look of dirty grace
But not right in your face
It’s not that kind of place 

They pass, they pass
They pass, they pass
The streets of Edinburgh
Hold half the world for me
In scores, in droves
The living and the ghosts
The streets of Edinburgh
Mean most to me

 

Down greasy potholed roadways
I watch the traffic crawl
But for the cars and buses
I give no thought at all
I think about the future
I wonder at her health
How with this human wealth
She does renew herself

 

They pass, they pass
They pass, they pass
The streets of Edinburgh
Hold half the world for me
In scores, in droves
The living and the ghosts
The streets of Edinburgh
Mean most to me

Sing to me the music of the stars

The eighth book in the Legendary Women of World History series will be “Hypatia of Alexandria” about one of the greatest astronomers of the ancient world.  Her murder, along with associated burnings of ancient libraries, plunged the West into the theocratic dark ages where Church dogma silenced scientists and endangered the lives of anyone who dared read scientific discoveries made by non-Christians.

Here is my first poem dedicated to Hypatia:

 

Sing to me the music of the stars

How the wanderers dance around the Earth and moon!

Show me the geometry of the heavens and of the Earth,

Polygons and polyhedrons in all their glorious splendour!

Let the secrets of Nature reveal themselves to me

Let my mind never falter to perceive their Mysteries.

For herein lies the true genius of the Divine.

Medieval Beltane Music

All Wiccan holidays are based on the seasons.  That means that witches in the northern hemisphere celebrate the opposite season holidays as those in the southern hemisphere.

 

As European and American Wiccans prepare to celebrate Samhain, the last and final holiday in the Wiccan calender (the new year beginning on November 1st), let’s turn our thoughts to spring — and our southern neighbors — with this look at Beltane and Beltane music.

 

Medieval Beltane Music

It’s almost Beltane, also known as May Day, a day known for its flowers, picnics, and of course, the May Pole Dance.

Like many festivals, music is an essential part of worship, even though many, perhaps, do not process Beltane celebrations as a form of religious worship. Yet through the ages and into today, songs celebrating spring, the Beltane festival, and/or the coming of summer all bring us closer to nature and Beltane’s celebration of new life. Here are a few of my favorite period songs for celebrating this ancient festival:

“Sumer Is Icumen in”: a medieval four part round originally written in the 13th century in Middle English (see Middle English and modern lyrics athttp://www.pteratunes.org.uk/Music/Music/Lyrics/summerisicumenin.html), “Sumer Is Icumen In” is one of the oldest known songs celebrating the coming of summer (beginning May 1st in Celtic and Germanic cultures). Beautiful in both Middle and Modern English, this classic was one of the first medieval songs I ever learned to sing and remains a perennial favorite among re-enactors and neo-pagans alike. Don’t want to sing it or play it on the recorder? Two of the best recordings of it is by St. George’s Canzona from their album “Medieval Songs and Dances,” and, for a pop arrangement of this classic, check out the version by Jaiya from her album “Beltane: Songs for the Spring Time,” both available on itunes.

“Now is the Month of Maying”: written by Elizabethan Englishman Thomas Morley in the late 16th century, it remains one of the best known songs about Beltane. The King’s Singers have a lovely rendition of it on their album “Madrigal History Tour” that is true to its original madrigal/troubadour origins. For a very modern take on this classic, consider “The Month of Maying” by Jaiya, also from “Beltane: Songs for the Spring Time.”

“Tempus Adest Floridum” (the time is near for flowering): originally written in the 13thcentury, “Tempus Adest Floridum’s” tune became popularized in the 19th century when the Christmas Carol “Good King Wenceslas ” provided new lyrics to the then 600 year old tune. Find four verses in the original Latin at http://www.cyberhymnal.org/non/la/tempusade.htm and full translation at http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/f/l/flowcaro.htm. Enjoy a classical recording of the song on Jeremy Summerly’s album, “Let Voices Resound: Songs from Piae Cantiones,” available on Amazon.com.

 

For more information on Beltane and medieval/Renaissance music, please consult:http://www.pteratunes.org.uk/Music/Music/Composers.html,http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/festivals/may/beltane.html,http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/Beltane_History.htm,http://londongirl.hubpages.com/hub/Bringing-in-the-May—the-history-and-culture-of-the-traditional-English-May-Day.

Purging Negative Vibration

The Johnstown PA troll is back!  Yes, he sent me MORE TEXT MESSAGES — a couple of them clearly sexual harassment.

No, I’m not calling the police or even telling my landlord w/ public housing.  There is no point.  All doing that does it maintain the negative vibration — which is rather his point.  Make me SO DESPERATE that I am willing to whore myself with him — quite literally and in direct opposition to my clearly stated desires.

Not happening.  Because what we focus on with our thoughts and feelings really is what we attract into our experiences.

 

So the key to the situation is to IGNORE IT.  The catch with ignoring it is that we as humans in the 21st century are rather conditioned to COMPLAIN.  Instead of focusing on what we DO WANT we focus on whatever we lack, whatever we do not like or want around us.

 

Can we wonder why we end up in vicious negative cycles?

 

Fortunately we have control over our minds.  As Bob Proctor repeatedly reminds us, our conscious minds possess a powerful filter for information.  We choose what information to accept and what information to reject.  We choose which ideas we will feel through, understanding that all feelings are based on our thoughts.  Change your thought and you change your feeling.

 

So how then do we best combat these intrusions into our positive thinking, our positive energy, and our focus on what we want?

 

Why music — of course!

Which piece of music is less important than the affect the music has on our feeling, the direction of our thoughts, and our vibration.  Here we are looking for something, anything that feels REALLY GOOD and RETURNS OUR FOCUS TO WHAT WE WANT.

 

Right now my primary vibrational focus is IMMIGRATION TO GREAT BRITAIN.  I want to move to England.  I want a nice house near London with a beautiful garden and a tranquil work space for my writing and research.  I want to work with Future Legend Media in Bedfordshire and I want more collaborations with Richard Mann whose work on the audio edition of Boudicca is by far the best audio book I have ever listened to as a low vision person dependent on audio books.

So today, I’m playing videos on youtube that return me to that focus, starting with the above rendition of “God Save the Queen.”

I am also listening to Rolling Stones Now music videos (Richard Mann fronts RSN as “Mick”) like the above “You Got Me Rockin’/Brown Sugar” because I really enjoy watching that particular video.

 

The point is to put yourself in not only a positive mood, but to focus so much on what you do want and do like that you completely put aside any and all thoughts that are detrimental to your vibration.

 

Focus on what you WANT.  Nothing less, nothing more.  Reject attempts by others to get into your boat of life and control your direction.  No one has the right to do so.  Take charge of your thoughts and feelings and you take charge of your life.

 

 

“Soft kitty” song lyrics for bird people

Down with the flu today so I made up better words to the “soft kitty” song from The Big Bang Theory. The last two words can also be “swe-et pearl” if singing to cockatiels:

My cockatiel Mithril in 12/2013 enjoying a Yuletide treat:  a sunflower head.  Sunflower heads are great for companion birds, forcing them to problem solve to get at their food.

My cockatiel Mithril in 12/2013 enjoying a Yuletide treat: a sunflower head. Sunflower heads are great for companion birds, forcing them to problem solve to get at their food.

Soft birdy, warm birdy, pretty little girl
Sleepy birdy, happy birdy, wings unfurl.