This Gentill Day Dawes

Fascinated to find this piece and try to interpret the meaning behind it. I love the idea of the queen referring to Anne Neville and perhaps one interpretation might be that it is her ghost that tends the garden of the white rose. This would explain why she must go home when the dawn comes and why the carol is rather melancholy is flavour.

murreyandblue

For fans of historical music one of the highlights of the reinterment festivities in Leicester earlier this year was “Concert for a King”, an evening with music from the time of Richard III performed by the a capella group Aitone and guest instrumentalist Susan Burns, with contemporary texts read by Dr. Tony Bentley. It took place at the Holy Cross Priory Church and one of the songs performed there under the amazing Tree of Life that sprouted from a nest of planta genista, its branches thick with white roses, was “This gentill day dawes” (also known as “This day day dawes” or “The lily white rose”).

This carol is one of the pieces of polyphonic music preserved in the Fayrfax Manuscript, a collection of own compositions and those by other composers compiled by Dr. Robert Fayrfax, organist of St. Albans and Gentleman of the Chapel Royal under Henry VII and…

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