So Ben Mi Ch'a Bon Tempo (16 century Italian)

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I've just revisted an old favourite: "So Ben Mi Ch'a Bon Tempo", a rather saucy 16th century song written by Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605). A choral arrangement, with lute accompaniment, is in the Icking Archive, and there are a lot of somewhat boring early music ensemble recordings on Youtube. However, I learned this from the playing and singing of Richard Thompson, who used it as the centerpiece of his wonderful "1000 Years Of Popular Music" theme concerts (and subsequently also frequently in his non-themed concerts), and his version is certainly not boring.

    Richard has kindly provided a PDF with his guitar and vocal arrangement on his official website, Beesweb (Link). The guitar arrangement is typically unplayable for mere mortals and doesn't translate easily to mandolin, but the vocal line is great fun to blast through on mandolin and falls nicely under the fingers:

    For reference, here is Richard Thompson (song starts at 2:20 in the clip, preceded by Richard's entertaining background info and translation of the words):

  2. Gelsenbury
    I have no idea about the lyrics ("colloquial medieval Italian"!), but I like the song!
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