A book put together as a distraction, while self-isolating during the Corvid-19 crisis, this collection of ballads, hymns, a theatre song and a round, from 16th and 17th Century England shows that lockdown and social distancing are nothing new.
With the plague being seen as a judgement from God, many of these songs contain calls to repentance, and pleas for mercy. But there are words of comfort too. The lyrics describe how the disease spread through the country, sparing nobody, be they rich, poor, young or old, and how public events and other social pleasures had to be cancelled.
The book includes works by Orlando Gibbons, Robert Parsons, Edmund Hooper and John Thorne.
Click below for a talk by Tamsin Lewis
Click below to hear music from the book.