In cart Not available Out of stock

Paul's home city Antwerp was a true cosmopolitan city in the 1500s. It was the richest city in Western Europe and center of the international economy. It's no coincidence that Thomas Moore's Utopia (published 1516) was supposedly first told in that city, and that the first modern world atlas was published there by Abraham Ortelius.

Emmanuel Adriaenssen (1554-1604) was a prominent lute player and composer there, who honed his skills in Italy and was very familiar with the English lute literature. A branle was originally a French couple dance and a number of English lute pieces also have that name. The flavor of this one is more modal than is usual in Adriaenssen’s other works. When Paul first gave the music to Karen, she neglected to look at the key signature and thought it was in the Mixolydian Mode (major scale with a flat 7). After discovering it was supposed to be in the Dorian Mode (minor scale with a raised 6) and in the spirit of the Belgian compromise, we decided to play it both ways!

Jacobus Hendrikus Speenhoff (1869-1945), aka "Koos" was an eccentric long-haired and bearded singer-songwriter long before such characters became commonplace during the folk boom.

This song dates back to 1904, and is perhaps the closest a Dutchman ever gets to singing the blues. Paul's translation introduces a bit of antagonism ("I love it when they fall") but retains the deadpan quality of the original. The singer (or his persona) gives his love freely to many women but his "generosity" backfires and eventually he finds himself single.

Coincidentally Koos, like Paul, played the harp guitar.