Issue 17: Gaudete – Steeleye Span

Years ago, I played this track to Keystage1 children in a music lesson around Christmas time.  The children were fascinated by the strong contrast between the gruff, strong singing of the chorus, and Maddy Prior’s clear solo voice in the solos.  (There are various versions of it up on YouTube if you haven’t heard it before).

Within minutes, one of the children (who was usually the bane of my music classes) had set all the children to stomping around the hall during the chorus.  That left us with nothing to do in the verse – his idea was to run riot until it was time to march again.

In the end we developed it into a successful contrasting set of movements; in the chorus, one group if children (mostly boys, it had to be said) marched round the hall in two columns, while the other group stood still, and in the verse, the other group skipped in a long line around the rest of the space, weaving in and out of the stationary soldiers.

I have also occasionally created a simple set of country dance-style movements to go with carols.  The problem is to find recordings which keep going through all the verses without stopping, unlike standard church-style recording which always take a deep breath between vereses.  The Saydisc CD “Tapestry” is quite a good one for this, with lots of well known carols played in a folk idiom.

 

 

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