The Colonial Revelers perform a capella music popular in 18th Century America. Together since 2000, they have appeared in costume as part of celebrations at Valley Forge National Historical Park, Brandywine Battlefield Park, Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia, and Cedar Bridge Heritage Festival in Manahawkin, NJ, among others.
This collection is a sampling of songs sung in taverns (Revelry), sacred music (Reflection), and songs designed to insight and support America’s struggle for independence (Revolution).
An evening at the tavern usually involved discussion of the latest news, politics, games of chance, and music. The diversity of tunes heard in taverns ranged from traditional drinking songs (Barley Mow) to rounds (How Great is the Pleasure) to humor (Nottingham Ale) to current events (Fish & Tea).
The religious pieces included here were composed in America by William Billings (Phoebus) and John Cole (Geneva).
The collection’s songs of revolution feature the most popular marching tunes of the American troops (Yankee Doodle and Chester). The moving Johnny has Gone for a Soldier tells of the women left behind. The collection ends with the rousing God Save Our Thirteen States, set to a tune still popular today.
Simple and complex rounds were very popular at the time. Several are presented here in a variety of styles: each part repeating the same line over and over (When Jesus Wept), distinct voices singing on each part (Sports of May), canons (Christchurch Bells), and rounds (He That Will An Alehouse Keepe).
For more information check our website www.HistoricalHarmonies.org.