St Sepulchres

We are the Consort of St Sepulchre
Doing our dance, and we will show you how
We can do it
You can do it
Come on now, and don’t be like a cow

We sang this (not publicly) to the tune of the almain we did in our dance show. Here we are in Trinity College Dublin Exam Hall, in 1976. Clockwise from top right:

Iain Montague, who read up the Renaissance dance books, principally Thoinot Arbeau’s Orchésographie of 1589, and taught us the steps
Tim Goulding, yes, the wonderful painter and member of Dr Strangely Strange, who joined us as a dancer that year
Honor in a beguiling headdress made by Irena
Jenny who as well as playing lead recorder designed the costumes and made most of them
Anto in jester guise, who played drums, sackbut, crumhorn and recorder, and mastered the ceremonies in painful doggerel
Irena, wife of Barra, also co-opted to dance and sew
Christopher Montague, son of Iain, our juvenile lead dancer—‘Smile, Christopher’
Vanessa who sang and played recorder
David Milne, who sang bass and played recorder, crumhorn, rauschpfeife and harpsichord; above him
Mary, who sang; and beside Iain
David Carmody, who played cornetto and recorder
Lucienne, alto (self-styled Gloria Glimpenstein)
Me, with lute
Barra, my co-director

The show ran for four days, December 15th to 18th. The previous year Michael Milne, brother of David, had sung bass, as he did on our two records for EMI Ireland (IEMC 6005 & 6008).

In 1975 Michael, Barra and Mark Molony and I danced a hearty buffens from Arbeau’s book, hacking mercilessly at one another’s wooden swords. We all danced, except for David Milne who kept the music going on the harpsichord for the big numbers. We invited the audience to partner us in the simple ones, pavans and branles, and to our amazement they volunteered in droves. We did a long farandole, down the hall and out the door, snaking across the cobblestones of Front Square; no such thing then as public liability insurance, but nobody (as it happened) broke an ankle.

Happy band.

The following year Barra left to do his doctorate in Holland (he became the world authority on the crumhorn) and I went to learn instrument making in Sussex. The group went into abeyance; after that we had sporadic reunions.

8 Responses to “St Sepulchres”

  1. Aoife Says:

    Who wrote that?

  2. recumbentman Says:

    Several of us put in bits on the spur of the moment; we got stuck at ‘come on now’ and Mary Milne finished it. No lyric was ever composed quicker.

  3. samwell Says:

    nice one.
    and on lead recorder…

  4. Aoife Says: beautiful mum!
    And it should say Vanessa who sang like an angel..

  5. malo Says:

    Ah thems was the days. I sat there in the front row of the exam hall while you all did your crazy stuff and I looked down on the scene like an umpire, feeling that I knew more than most of the punters and fascinated at the wild performance energy that transformed my parents and their jolly chums into shamen whose audience seemed ready to go wherever they might be took. I felt outside it all but not in a bad way.

  6. samwell Says:

    judge robinson aged 6. i bet you still feel you know more than most of the punters.

  7. malo Says:

    eat judge-boot, lawbreaker

  8. recumbentman Says:

    Some Judge Dredd homage. Strange.

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