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On "Raven's Ballade", the song is medieval, but the original English Lyrics were full of words that nobody uses. "Twa Corbies" means "Tree Ravens" in Old English, and "dithers" refers to "innards", and there are other words that would require explaining to the audience. I've heard plenty of people just play the song with the original lyrics, but the story is a bit lost, since the audience doesn't know the meaning of the words, and would not sit still for a lecture on the word meanings. So I made new lyrics, based on the old ones, with modern words that people understand.
Since the song is rather morbid and dreary (it ends with a maiden burying her husband, and then dyng herself,presumably of grief), and our band is comedic, we introduced it as a kid's song, "because it's got animals... and kids love stories about animals!", and then, as the grossest part of the song, Lady Jocelyn screams in protest. I invent new lyrics on the spot to make it less gruesome, all for laughs, of course.
Douce Dame Joliet
In the middle of this song, Lady Jocelyn plays a solo... very badly! This was intentional. Watch how the dancer reacts to the dissonant notes!
This song is a real medieval song from the 14th century. It's a happy tune, but the original lyrics were downbeat, and about infidelity and how a man's wife leaves him because he doesn't treat her well. Since this isn't really a happy topic, I decided to take a theme from the original song (Training a Falcon, then losing it), and I made up new lyrics to tell a funny story that audiences would like. The music is true to the original, though.
This song is one of our signature medleys, and was played at the end revels of the faire, in which all the musicial acts show up, and play one last time before closing. The boar's head theater is the location, which we loved to play at, because it's curved shell-design allowed us to work without amplification, even with soft numbers. It's also one of the biggest crowds we saw, and we played it a little faster than usual.
Cantiga 100 is a real medieval song, written by King Alfonso Xavier X of Spain in the 13th century. It's notable for having an A-part that's in a major chord, and B part that's in a minor part, which is unusual to today's ears. We decided to stage it as a battle between the parts, with the A part being dainty, and the B part being rowdy and obnoxious. Listen to how Lady Jocelyn describes the sound of a Rauschpfeife.
Nonesuch was the band's first song, and is our most popular number. I used to randomly play different tunes that fit with the 4/4 beat, but we eventually settled on a consistant medley where the same songs are played every time. Nonesuch is an English Country dance from the 1600s. Saltarello I, the second song in the medley, is a long-popular medieval dance song. "Dödetium" is the third song in the medley, and was simply selected because it kind of fit, and allowed for a drum break. We conclude every show with Nonesuch, and usually, dancers come and join us.