Pop Songs and Prayers: The Antwerp Songbook

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Program: #02-43   Air Date: Oct 28, 2002


The Antwerp Song Book. This 1544 publication revealed the wealth of Flemish popular song; this week, we'll hear some of those songs and the sacred settings of these popular tunes that helped common people sing the Psalms.

Preservation of this program is made possible by a generous grant from a Friend of Millennium of Music.

NOTE: This program and others this year celebrate Belgium and the beautiful city of Bruges as the European Cultural Capital 2002.

For more information on Bruges 2002 you may visit their website at: www.brugge2002.com, and for more information on visiting Belgium, you may contact the Belgian Tourist Office at: www.visitbelgium.com.

The music on this program illustrates the comfortable relationship between sacred and secular music in the 16th century Lowlands. The performances are by the Camerata Trajectina and this recording, entitled Souterliedekens, is on the Globe label (CD # GLO 6020).

These "psalm-songs" were mostly sung by the persecuted Baptists, although not considered heretical by the Catholic church.

Antwerp Song Book (1544):

  • GHERARDUS MES: Psalm 35 (on the tune "Rosina, Where were you").
  • JACOBUS CLEMENS non PAPA: Psalm 35 (as above).
  • CLEMENS: Magnificat (on Conditor alme siderum).
  • MES: Psalm 39 (on "Venus, Juno, Pallas").
  • Anon.: Secular song: "Day is breaking in the East."
  • CLEMENS: Psalm 4 (on "Day is breaking in the East").
  • MES: Psalm 4 (on "Day is breaking in the East").
  • Anon.: Dance settings: Psalms 132, 125, 133, 135.

Nieu Amsterdams Liedt-boeck (1591):

  • CLEMENS: Psalm 127 (on "The Nightingale sang a song.").
  • Anon.: Secular song: "The Nightingale sang a song."
  • Anon.: "A Virtuous song about my beloved."
  • CLEMENS: Psalm 31 (on "A Virtuous song about my beloved").
  • MES: Psalm 31 (on "A Virtuous song about my beloved").

Antwerp Song Book:

  • Anon.: Secular song: "I went to a dancing party."
  • Anon./MES: "Acts of Tyranny Now can be seen everywhere"—(after Mes' setting of Psalm 41--an account of the persecution of Hans van der Mase in Waasten, West Flanders).
  • Anon.: Secular song: "When Hanseyln rode over the heath" (version from the Harlems Oudt Liedt-boeck).
  • CLEMENS: Psalm 69 (on "When Hanseyln rode over the heath").
  • Anon.: Secular Song: "It was raining hard and I became wet."
  • CLEMENS: Psalm 3 (after "It was raining hard and I became wet").
  • MES: Psalm 3 (after "It was raining hard and I became wet").
  • MES: Hymn of Zachary (on "An old man spoke to a girl").
  • Anon.: Secular song: "An old man spoke to a girl."
  • MES: Ick seg adieu ("I bid farewell").

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