Saturday, December 13, 2008
Today is St. Lucy's Day. Before they adjusted the calendar it was the shortest day. Here is a John Donne poem about it. It's thought that poem is for Lucy, Countess of Bedford. She, pictured here by Isaac Oliver, was patron of Donne and John Danyel and was the dedicatee of John Dowland's Second Book of Songs. Here's a link to download an mp3 of the greatest hit from that book Flow my teares. This song started out as a lute pavan (a kind of slow dance), then was in this song version, the was the basis of seven pavans in Lachrimae or Seaven Teares. Other composers would quote it when mentioning tears or melancholy for about a hundred years.