Week 38: I would that the wars were all done, High Germanie, The weary cutters

Week 38 eh? Where does the time go? (There’s a song there somewhere.)

Three conscription songs this week. The most sentimental & the most “written”-sounding is I would that the wars were all done; I’m not that keen on the verses, but the refrain makes up for it. Accompanied with two-note concertina chords; partly sung in mid-air.

High Germanie continues the recent sub-theme of sketchy European geography. (As I understand it “High” Germany was roughly what we now call Germany – Low Germany being the Netherlands – so the relative elevations are at least consistent. I don’t know which wars these were, though – or whether they were two separate conflicts or one that spread across the whole area.) I followed Pentangle in this version, perhaps too closely; I might try it again more slowly some time.

The weary cutters, lastly, is a short, sad song, sung by a mother whose son has been conscripted (“They’ve pressed him far away foreign”). Unlike most of these songs, I’ve known this one for, basically, ever; I’m fonder of it than I realised. Sung with (self-composed) harmonies.

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