Several traditions date his birth in the reign of Henry II and his rise to notoriety to the reign of Richard I , while that king was absent from England on a crusade. The earliest surviving ballads of Robin Hood, however, were set down in the fifteenth century, and for these we only have words.
Not until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries do we have a really useful stock of words and tunes to sing of the adventures of the heroic outlaw. While the Robin Hood legend was evolving, songs and dances were also composed to celebrate May-time and the annual revival of the Green Man and his home, the Greenwood.
These festivals took place all over England, and elsewhere. Like the tales of Robin Hood, they were enjoyed at all levels of society. In the course of time Maying and Robin became closely associated, while, from the French pastoral tradition, the outlaw acquired his beloved Marian. In the present recording Estampie first evokes some of the sounds, sentiments and personalities of Robin Hood's time, then drawing on later ballads and dances to celebrate the fact that Robin is to the greenwood gone.
John Peel. Walther von der Vogelweide, a contemporary of the historical Robin Hood, a Minnesinger in the German troubadour tradition, was born in Austria about the year and spent his life in the service of a series of noblemen, kings and emperors, recognised as one of the leading poets of his generation. His Paliistinalied Palestine Song is the only work of his for which the original melody has been preserved and in its words describes the Holy Land, which the poet may have visited with the crusading Emperor Friedrich II.
Richard I, Coeur de Lion, was born in Oxford in and in became Duke of Aquitaine, where he spent much of his time. A poet and composer, in the tradition of his maternal great-grandfather, one of the first of the aristocratic troubadour poets, he spent two years, from to , as a prisoner in Austria.
The story of his rescue by the minstrel Blondel is fictitious, but has had its operatic and dramatic uses. Ja nuls homs pris is the only one of his poems to survive with the music and was written during his imprisonment.follow link
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Here he laments his fate, writing this song to comfort himself alter two winters as a prisoner and using his own language, since he never had occasion to learn English. The song of King Richard is appropriately followed by that of his supposed minstrel Blondel de Nesle, celebrating here the beginning of summer, A l'entrant d'este.
Blondel's precise identity is not clear, but some have suggested that he might be Jehan II de Nesle. Whether nobleman or commoner, he enjoyed respect as a poet in the Northern French trouvere tradition and the present song served as a model for a song by the thirteenth century trouvere Oede de la Couroierie.
Ballads of Robin Hood and other Outlaws by Frank Sidgwick
Kalenda Maya, a celebration of May Day, is by the troubadour Raimbault de Vaqueiras, a representative of the Southern French poetic tradition of Provence. The son of a poor knight, Raimbault entered the service of the Marquis of Monferrat, earning his own knighthood in Sicily and joining in crusades.
The present work is one of only seven that survive with their music, in this case apparently a jongleur melody, an estampie that he had heard played on the vielle. While she has a long history in pastourelles and May games, Maid Marian does not exist in the earlier tradition of the outlaw ballads; Robin's singular devotion, like that of King Arthur, is to the Virgin Mary.
For fifteenth-century audiences, Robin's devotion to Mary makes him a legitimate hero, on par with Arthurian tradition.
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It, therefore, contradicts his marginal status as celebrated in modern scholarship. The association normalizes Robin in the ballads and places him in an exalted, nationalist position--a hero of England, despite the localized setting, who represents the ideas and nature of being English in the Middle Ages--contrary to his liminal construction by modern critics as a border walker and outlaw.
After the Reformation, moreover, in order to bring Robin in line with Protestant concerns of English national identity, the Virgin Mary was transformed into his secular lover, Maid Marian, particularly in the early-modern plays of Anthony Munday. Through Robin's devotion to, first the Virgin Mary, and then to her secularized successor, Marian, the famous outlaw is presented to late-medieval and early-modern audiences, not as a liminal and transgressive figure, but as a normative construction of national and religious identity reifying the status quo rather than subverting it.
A great deal of scholarship has been carried out over the last fifty years on the medieval incarnations of Robin Hood, sparking debates about the origins and date of the texts, the questions of class and religion, the search for a historical Robin Hood, and the nature of the outlaw.
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Liminality literally means to be on the "threshold" from Latin limen , a definition implying ambiguity, disorientation, and a certain dissolution or de-emphasis on class structures and other social regulation. Also, the literary device of repetition makes parts very tiring to read. I'm sure when they were originally sung, they had some livelyness, but this is rarely felt in the written text. Sep 11, Misha Gericke rated it really liked it.
Not in everyone's tastes, since most of the ballads are written in Middle English. But I enjoyed reading a taste of my favorite story's origins. Anne-Marie Stanphill rated it liked it Jun 18, Maria rated it liked it Sep 06, Stacy rated it liked it Jan 18, Deke Parsons rated it it was amazing Jan 06, Mellinger rated it really liked it Nov 19, Jordan Voss rated it it was amazing Jan 30, Bapodara Nagarjun rated it it was amazing Jan 07, Pngnlove rated it really liked it Jun 01, Jemma rated it it was ok Dec 12, Hightower rated it really liked it Feb 08, Kevin rated it liked it Apr 17, John rated it it was amazing Dec 12, Tanya Young rated it liked it Dec 15, Morgan Melhuish rated it really liked it Jun 01, Jack Wilde rated it really liked it Oct 21, Gordon rated it it was amazing Jun 01, Sapphire Gemstone rated it liked it Oct 13, Mary E.
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