Michael East
(c.1580 - 1648)

How merrily we live (Warley Camp)
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In the last quarter of the eighteenth century it was fashionable to revive the works of the early Jacobean madrigalists for use in afterpieces and other entertainments. Ravenscroft and Morley were frequent targets, but in this instance John Arnold, "Philo-Harmoniae, Organist of Great-Warley, Essex", has quarried Michael East's three part glee (see notAmos edition) from the second book of madrigals, pub. 1606. The words have been given a local topicality, the harmonies have been simplified and the final bars have been reworked to produce a fashionable Da Capo format. It is possible that this version was fashioned for use during the king and queen's two-day military review at Warley Camp, 1778, commemorated in paintings by de Loutherbourg.
Lyrics: Anon, probably the composer

How merrily we live that soldiers be:
Round the world thus we march with merry glee.
On the pleasant downs sometimes encamp'd we lie.
No cares we know, but fortune's frowns defy;
So long as we can see our colours fly.