Lyric, Meaning, and Audience in the Oral Tradition of Northern Europe

Lyric, Meaning, and Audience in the Oral Tradition of Northern Europe

Description

By looking at the ways in which cultures in Northern Europe interpret lyric songs, Thomas A. DuBois illuminates both commonalities of interpretive practice and unique features of their musical traditions. DuBois draws on sets of lyric songs from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland to explore the question of meaning in folklore, especially the role of traditional audiences in appraising and understanding nonnarrative songs. DuBois's examples range from the medieval and early modern periods to the late twentieth century. He examines lyric songs embedded within prose or poetic narratives; the ritual use of lyric as charms and laments in premodern Europe; the development of personalized meanings within hymns and devotional prayers of the high Middle Ages; Shakespeare's lyric songs and their demands on the audience; and the ways in which professional lyric singers encourage certain interpretations of their songs.