Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Hey Then Up We Go Jack a Lent
Pyewackett was a British folk band that combined traditional material, much of it from John Playford's English Dancing Master books first published in 1651, with modern instrumentation and some classic American jazz songs from the early to mid-20th century. Their four albums were recorded in the early to mid-1980s. In addition to recording, they also played music for early dances with a caller.
Although it has been nearly a quarter-century since Pyewackett last released an album, the band is still remembered as a favorite by people all over the world.
Jack 'o' Lent or Jack a Lent, was a tradition in England in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.
The effigy was a straw figure which had been dragged about the parish on Ash Wednesday and stoned and abused. Its burning on Palm Sunday was often supposed to be a kind of revenge on Judas Iscariot who had betrayed Christ. It is equally likely that it represents the hated figure of Winter whose destruction prepares the way for Spring. It is a left over pagan tradition that took on Christian meaning and survived until the late 17th and early 18th century in parts of England.
He is mentioned in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor.
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