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Ring a ring o' roses

Ring a ring o' roses

Ref: CD518

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Songs and dances for children

This album brings together many old tunes which are familiar to us through nursery rhymes or folk tunes which we learnt as a child - and have so often half-forgotten! However, it is a telling tribute to the durabilitiy of these tunes and themes that even in this age of technical sophistication, of computer games and multi-media presentations, many children will still know them from the school playground or from television programmes or school lessons. So the album becomes an'aide-memoire' for parents and grandparents, and can be used as a useful little teaching aid to ensure that these tunes remain in children's minds.

Price    9.99

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Ring a ring o' roses
Songs and dances for children

1 Dance medley - Lillibulero, Parsons farewell, Chirping of the lark, Cuckolds all awry, Picking of the sticks, Lavena, Lumps of pudding - John Playford
2 Ring a ring o' roses
3 All in a garden green
4 The noble duke of York
5 Golden slumbers
6 A-roving
7 Three dances from 'The Island Princess' - Jeremiah Clarke
8 Haymakers Dance from 'The Faerie Queene' - Henry Purcell
9 Fairy Dance from 'The Faerie Queene' - Henry Purcell
10 The Prince of Denmark's March - Jeremiah Clarke
11 Elsie Marley
12 This old man
13 When the King
14 Your hay it is mown
15 Country Dance from 'Water Music' - George Frideric Handel
16 Presto from 'Water Music' - George Frideric Handel
17 Jenny pluck pears
18 The alarm clock (Le reveil-matin) - Francois Couperin
19 The miller of Dee
20 Michael Finnigan
21 The ash grove
22 Here's a health unto his Majesty
23 What shall we do with the drunken sailor
24 Over the hills and far away
25 Dance medley - Drive the cold away, The mock match, The hole in the wall, Goddesses
26 Dance medley - The Grenadiers March, The old mole, Argiers, Chirping of the nightingale, Grimstock
27 Division for trebles - John Playford
28 Round-O from 'Abdelazer' - Henry Purcell

Musica Donum Dei
Wendy Hancock flute and recorders
Michael Sanderson voice and fiddle
Michael Overbury harpsichord
Julia Black fiddle
Dianne Terry fiddle and viola
Imogen Seth-Smith cello
Susanne Heinrich gamba

CCL CD518
p&c 2003 Classical Communications Ltd
Cover Image: Ring a Ring o Roses Jessie Wilcox Smith/Courtesy of The Advertising Archives
Made in Great Britain


Ring a ring o' roses
Songs and dances for children

This album brings together many old tunes which are familiar to us through nursery rhymes or folk tunes which we learnt as a child - and have so often half-forgotten! However, it is a telling tribute to the durabilitiy of these tunes and themes that even in this age of technical sophistication, of computer games and multi-media presentations, many children will still know them from the school playground or from television programmes or school lessons. So the album becomes an'aide-memoire' for parents and grandparents, and can be used as a useful little teaching aid to ensure that these tunes remain in children's minds.

One of the reasons the tunes have lasted so long, is that they are simply very good. Even something as simple as 'This old man' is very attractive to listen to, and it is highly memorable, especially in this lovely new arrangement which was created especially for the album. Most of the familiar tunes have been treated in a similar manner, and a fresh, new sound had been created, even though they are all played on old instruments, or copies of them.

The violins, violas and cellos are set up and played in the styles of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with gut strings in place of the more usual metal, and different shaped bows under much less pressure. The sound they make becomes very open and clear. The flute is also in the Baroque style. It is made of wood and has holes for the player to cover with the fingers instead of the key system of the modern, metal flute. Although it is played 'transversely' (i.e. held horizontally) its sound is thus closer in many ways to its cousin, the recorder, which is familiar to nearly every school child and is, of course, played in a vertical position. These lovely and varied instruments are accompanied by the harpsichord. This instrument has a keyboard like a modern piano, but whereas the piano has a mechanism inside which causes a hammer to strike its strings, the harpsichord mechanism is one which plucks the strings, and it thus produces a totally different sound from the piano. The harpsichord is one of the oldest instruments, and was in regular use until the piano became firmly established in the last two or three decades of the eighteenth century.

Many of the pieces on the album are by important composers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. George Frideric Handel is probably the most famous of them all. He wrote his 'Water Music' for King George II in 1717. Francois Couperin was his near contemporary who worked for the Sun King, Louis XIV of France. Many of his pieces have clever titles, and imitate things in the world around the composer, such as this 'alarm clock' piece. Henry Purcell worked in London towards the end of the seventeenth century. He was an organist at Westminster Abbey, and wrote large amounts of music for the theatre. Jeremiah Clarke was less well-known, but his trumpet tunes (such as the 'Prince of Denmark's March' or the middle tune of the three pieces from 'The Island Princess') have always remained familiar. John Playford was a musician and music publisher. He printed huge amounts of music based on, amongst other things, the favourite dance tunes of the day.

Here is a list of the composers and when they lived:

John Playford (1623-1686).
Jeremiah Clarke (1674-1707)
Henry Purcell (1659-1595)
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Francois Couperin (1668-1733)


Answer to the question:

You can hear 'Ring a ring o' roses', or bits of it, 6 times


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