‘England, hope for light after the confusion of darkness’: English Political Identity in the Late Medieval Carol

Abstract

The late medieval carol is an important indigenous musical form that is abundant in a number of sources from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth century both with and without extant musical notation. Often thought of as a song that only addresses Christmas themes, medieval carols, in fact, cover a variety of subject matter: love, humour, moralistic tales, the veneration of saints, and politics, to name but a few. This short study seeks to discuss the political carols; addressing their position in manuscripts of the time, examining the clues they might give to the establishments they were performed in, and exploring their representation of English political identity during this turbulent period of history.

Keywords

England; Middle Ages; Music; Carols; Politics; Identity; Manuscripts

How to Cite

McInnes L. (2017) “‘England, hope for light after the confusion of darkness’: English Political Identity in the Late Medieval Carol”, Identity Papers. 2(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/idp.2017.03

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Authors

Louise McInnes

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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