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Good Ale
Last updated: 24.01.17
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Good Ale is a fine roisterous Peter Warlock song which I sing/sang together with Dr Oliver Rosteck of Dr. Rosteck & Mr. Grainger. fame. Whether this song may be considered folk music or chamber music is debatable. When I sing it alone, then for me it is certainly folk music but with my partner it then becomes well ..., chamber music. The song itself, typical Warlock, has a feel of the 15th century but was actually written in 1922 with 15th century lyrics. According to the introduction of The Choral music of Peter Warlock Vol. 1, from which I learned the song, the composer felt strongly that it should be sung in the 4-flatted key of A-minor. He wrote when commenting on a version in F-major, This is the original key and is much better than the low key as here. But for roaring unaccompanied it doesn't matter. . Being very much a roaring unaccompanied, I take no little comfort from the composers assessment! The song itself is of 4 loud verses of whereby a guest in an ale house demands that the landlord bring in good ale and will not be fobbed off with useless fares such as bread, butter, eggs whatever. Sentiments which I share entirely! Also typical Warlock is that while the singer has it fairly easy, all verses being sung exactly the same - the pianist has his work cut as the entire piece is composed throughout. That is to say the poor pianist has the entire work spread along the console like a piece of wallpaper. Great fun indeed!