Non-historic songs we play
We’re a renaissance group, so you’d think we’d play strictly renaissance music, right? Well, that’s a tough call to make. You will notice a lot of renaissance festivals are more of a fantasy faire instead of a strictly historic reenactment. There are fairies, dragons, and even carnival rides! So our challenge then becomes how do we portray a historical act while competing against pirates singing about world of warcraft and zombies?
Our secret weapon to keeping audiences interested is good music, and there are two songs in our repertoire that are no older than 1860: Basse Danse from the Capriol Suite, and Korobushka.
The Capriol Suite, containing Basse Danse, is a set of dances composed in October 1926 by Peter Warlock based on tunes in Thoinot Arbeau’s Orchésographie, a manual of Renaissance dances. Basically, Warlock wrote a composition to sound like renaissance music, but it is really a modern creation.
Why do we play this song? The main reason is because it sounds awesome. Second, most people would not be able to distinguish it from actual renaissance music. We play this song as an intro to our show, so there is no dance to it, but someone certainly could make one.
Korobushka, also known as Korobeiniki, is a nineteenth-century Russian folk song. The lyrics tell the story of a meeting between a peddler and a girl, in which they haggle over the price of goods in a veiled metaphor for courtship. The song is more well known for being featured in Tetris as song “Type A”.
The Korobushka dance originated in the United States through a group of Russian immigrants following the close of World War I. Mysteriously, you’ll find the dance done at a lot of major renaissance faires, and is a dance troupe staple even though it’s no older than the 1860s. We bill this dance as “Canterbury’s Favorite Dance” at KCRF. Why is it so popular? Probably because the song and the dance are so much fun!