By Oskar Cox Jensen
This research deals an intensive reassessment of an important interval of political and cultural historical past. via a few four hundred songs, a lot of that are made on hand to listen to, and at their writers, singers, and audiences, it questions either our courting with music, and usual Britons' dating with Napoleon, the conflict, and the assumption of england itself.
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Additional info for Napoleon and British Song, 1797–1822
193 In such a climate, especially where loyalist propaganda relied on songs suited to mass rendition, their emphasis upon unity and patriotic zeal, it was imperative that performances could be controlled. Even in the fairly stable space of the theatre, policed as it often was by soldiers, audiences could boo, hiss, and riot. It was not enough simply to ﬂood the plebeian sphere with song: listeners had to like them. Over the following chapters, we will examine the songs themselves, and try to gain a sense of which passed the test.
192 These forms of popular action, besides expressing political division, represented a deeper worry for traditional loyalists: such displays were indicative of political engagement and increasing self-consciousness on the part of the people. 193 In such a climate, especially where loyalist propaganda relied on songs suited to mass rendition, their emphasis upon unity and patriotic zeal, it was imperative that performances could be controlled. Even in the fairly stable space of the theatre, policed as it often was by soldiers, audiences could boo, hiss, and riot.
I heard, at a small distance, music . . I soon knew the air. I crept nearer and could distinguish the words. I became riveted to the spot. That moment compensated me for all I had suffered in Spain. I felt that pleasure which softens the heart, and overﬂows at the eyes. 175 ‘A Hacknied Tune’? ’176 Yet even the overheard group are not truly uniting in song, as each performs in turn. ’177 Though the soldier’s lyricism is clearly inﬂuenced by genre – his is a romanticised reconstruction consciously or unconsciously adapted to an emerging print market for soldiers’ stories – the underlying experience is unlikely to have been fabricated.