As a member of the Concentus Musicus Dance Ensemble of Minneapolis, I participated in Madrigal dinners. These were "dinner theater" in the style of the royal courts of the Renaissance era. The royal family and guests would feast and enjoy various entertainments of music, dance, and poetry.

In contemporary times, the dinners were performed for the paying public and were a creative fund-raiser for nonprofit musical ensembles. The dinners were most often held at yuletide when the public was in the mood for "period" entertainment. Although, these engagements were also well received in May when Minnesota evenings finally became pleasant with regularity.

As a student I could not afford to attend as a guest. So unfortunately I am unable to describe the various courses to the meal. There were several I assure you because the cast performed throughout the evening.

I played lute and danced for these dinners. The musical ensemble consisted of a couple of recorders, lute, krumhorn, a viola da gamba, voice, and occasionally percussion. The dances performed were in period costumes and had been researched for authenticity. We performed pavans, galliardes, basse dances, and jigs.

One song we performed was Ye Spotted Snakes. This is the melody performed by the fairies for Queen Titania in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 2 Scene 2. We performed this song with voice, recorder, and lute.

Ye Spotted Snakes

First Fairy:
Ye spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen.
Newts and blindworms, do no wrong
Come not near our Fairy queen.
Chorus:
Philomel with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby.
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby.
Never harm
Nor spell or charm
Come our lovely lady nigh.
So good night, with lullaby.
First Fairy:
Weaving spiders, come not here.
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence.
Beetles black, approach not near.
Worm nor snail, do no offence.
Chorus:
Philomel with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby.
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby.
Never harm
Nor spell or charm
Come our lovely lady nigh.
So good night, with lullaby.

The musical setting is handwritten and attributed to T. Taylor, 1973. That date was 3 years before I joined the group so I never met that person.

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