Mediaeval Baebes, Salva Nos (1997): Song Meanings and Origins


The Mediaeval Baebes are the primary identify at the lips of each tune lover who appreciates a lush, heady medieval surroundings. They have got featured prominently within the soundtrack of virtually each celebration I’ve hosted. I’m fiercely keen about medieval tune, and maximum of my pals can inform you about how I have cornered them after a couple of beverages to inform them about the real origins about this or that Mediaeval Baebes tune. So I determined it used to be time to devote a few of this geeky enthusiasm to the web page, get it out of my device, and save my pals from my ranting and raving.

My subsequent sequence of articles will discover the Mediaeval Baebes’ discography, in brief discussing the origins and historical past of the tune they’ve drawn upon to create their vintage recordings. I’m hoping you revel in them.

To start out, let’s check out their first album, Salva Nos, launched in 1997.

1. Salve Virgo Virginum

That is an early medieval Gregorian chant praying to the Virgin Mary. The Baebes have approached it from a conservative, traditionally correct perspective.

2. Now Springes the Spray

That is an English tune, circa 1300, and an early instance of the chanson d’aventure. The chanson d’aventure includes a male narrator wandering within the nation-state who finally ends up overhearing or interrupting a non-public second. On this case, the singer overhears a maiden cursing her beloved one that has spurned her.

3. Ah! Si Mon Moine

Even though this tune supposedly originated in France, within the Sixteenth century or previous, my Canadian readers will probably be overjoyed to understand that our earliest written model of it comes from nineteenth century Quebec. It is a playful, punning tune a few dancing monk. The phrase “moine” approach each “monk” and “spinning most sensible”.

4. Adam Lay Ibounden

The lyrics to this tune are Fifteenth-century English, set to tune via founding Mediaeval Baebe Katharine Blake. The result’s ominous, robust, and beautiful. Blake did a stupendous task with the surroundings. I wish to take a second, even though, to recognize how gorgeous and essential the lyrics are. The primary two stanzas describe Adam, the primary guy, being sure for one thousand winters as punishment for taking the forbidden apple within the Lawn of Eden. Within the 3rd and fourth stanzas, on the other hand, the poet praises humanity’s sin and ejection from the lawn as occasions with out which Mary would by no means have develop into Queen of Heaven, subsequently “Blessed be the time that apple taken used to be!” It is a robust message that continues to be very related nowadays. Once we discover ways to make peace with our origins, we’re higher supplied to transport ahead.

5. Foweles In The Firth

That is any other gorgeous unique surroundings via Katharine Blake. The lyrics are easy, nameless, and heartbreaking, originating in past due Thirteenth-century England. It survives in however one manuscript the place it’s buried beneath numerous prison writings. Curiously, the manuscript has tune with the textual content, however for no matter explanation why, the Baebes selected to make use of unique tune for this recording.

6. So Treiben Wir Den Wintry weather Aus

That is an instrumental model of a Sixteenth-century German folks tune about using the iciness out. Even though the lyrics are unnoticed, one may imagine it conspicuously pagan, making an allowance for the songs that observe.

7. The Coventry Carol

It is a very well known tune, and no doubt the darkest of all of the Christmas carols. The Baebes did a beautiful task of final true to the Sixteenth-century transcription whilst making the melody and rhythm sound herbal. The result’s merely best possible.

8. Gaudete

This recording is a triumph. The textual content at the side of the tune for the chorus comes from a Sixteenth-century Scandinavian manuscript and the verses have been set via Mediaeval Baebe Ruth Galloway. I really like this synthesis of important creativity with reverence for the previous.

9. Grownup Lullaby

It is a haunting and deeply unhappy solo tune set via Katharine Blake. The textual content is Previous English, however I’ve now not been in a position to seek out any details about its origins. If you recognize one thing, please depart a remark.

10. Veni, Veni

Some other cherished Christmas carol (or fairly Introduction carol), extra frequently referred to as via the identify “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, however sung within the unique Latin. The actual origins of this tune are shrouded in thriller.

11. Salva Nos

“Save us, celebrity of the ocean and queen of Heaven!” It is a mid-Thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman devotional tune. The Baebes have added instrumentation to emphasise the rhythm and pressure the tune ahead.

12. Verbum Caro

That is any other Christmas tune which seems in a 14th-century Florentine manuscript. Once more, the Baebes have added some easy instrumentation to give a boost to the rhythmic hobby.

13. Lo, Right here My Hert

Some other hauntingly gorgeous composition from Katharine Blake. The lyric is a Twelfth-century English poem, only one stanza in duration, portraying Christ struggling at the go.

14. Binnorie O Binnorie

It is a Scottish ballad of which twenty-four variations live on and which dates again to the seventeenth century. It tells the oft-retold tale of the “merciless sister”. One sister drowns the opposite with a view to marry the sister’s guy for herself, and her bones are discovered and made right into a harp, which sings the reality in regards to the homicide. It’s fascinating that the Baebes selected to file it as an instrumental piece. For many who understand it, the phrases hover at the back of the tune, like the sophisticated voice of a murdered woman making a song her fact after demise.

15. This Ay Nicht

This English tune is correctly referred to as the Lyke-Wake Dirge, and offers with the adventure of the soul after demise. It used to be first written down within the seventeenth century, however is considered a excellent deal older. It’s chilling and robust and has been labored and remodeled via numerous poets and musicians throughout the centuries.

16. Miri It Is

It is a Thirteenth-century English tune in regards to the sorrow that units in with the chilly climate when summer season is finished. A captivating selection to finish an album that is composed most commonly of songs for the iciness season.