What I did with my summer vacation, part two

I'm at bottom, second from left.

I'm at bottom, second from left.

I dressed up like a wench and sang madrigals with my choir, the Sherwood Renaissance Singers, at various northwest fairs. If you’ve never been to a Ren Faire, it’s an event usually held in a large, grassy park with shade trees and set up with (hopefully) period looking tents and pavilions. Renaissance style entertainers perform (jugglers, Morris dancers, magicians, actors, jousters, pirates, puppeteers, and singers) and vendors sell ye olde wares (swords, toys, jewelry, masks, garb) and food (legs of lamb, sugared nuts, ale, ginger beer, pickles – hmmm, I wonder when pickles were invented.) Faire patrons can watch blacksmiths and lace-makers or learn to dance the maypole. All the merchants and performers are in costume—it’s fun when the public dresses up, too.

My choir (19 mixed voices) sings a repertoire of almost 50 madrigals with lyrics like:
Rest sweet nymphs, let golden sleep
Charm your star-brighter eyes
While my lute the watch doth keep
With pleasing sympathies
&
He that once loves with a true desire never can depart,
For Cupid is the king of every heart.
Come, come, come, while I have a heart to desire thee.
Come, come, come, for either I will love or admire thee.

“After hours” we set up the lantern tree in our camping area, share dinner, tell stories, trade jokes, and usually end up singing. (It’s hard not to.) Tomorrow I will carpool three hours up to Buckley for the Washington Renaissance and Fantasy faire. I hope your weekend is just as much fun.

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3 Responses to “What I did with my summer vacation, part two”

  1. Wendy Says:

    Sounds like so much fun! What’s a Lantern Tree?

    • Laura Whitcomb Says:

      A dear friend of some of our choir members used to make these fabulous paper lanterns before he passed away. In the shapes of birds and suns and stars. We hang them all over this metal “tree” and set it up beside our encampment. The little lanterns are either lit with battery tea lights or real ones, depending on the rules of the place we’re camping. The glowing tree looks so lovely it draws other campers to us. It’s magical to sing under those lights in the cool darkness.

  2. Wendy Says:

    How lovely! I can just picture it!

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