Wit and Mirth

Saucy Songs for Dainty Dances


“Wit and Mirth: Or, Pills to Purge Melancholy” is the title of a collection of songs published in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The title was borrowed by Andrew Shaw for a series of six annual dance weekends at Halsway Manor (2001 to 2006 inclusive), the link being that many of the song tunes were also used for contemporary dances.


Starting in 2002, Liz provided evening entertainment in the bar, in the form of songs from “Pills to Purge Melancholy”. On the first occasion, she gave us a solo performance of just one song, in which she assured us that “My thing is my own”, thereby setting the theme for the future choice of songs. In subsequent years Liz was accompanied by Tony (accordion and drum – simultaneously!), expanded her repertoire and occasionally resorted to visual aids, in case the words were not sufficiently explicit. There were also a number of performances at other events.


Due to changing circumstances, the opportunities for further performances will be limited, so this CD was produced by Liz and Tony as a personal memento. However, other people have kindly (foolishly?) expressed interest in obtaining a copy, so we have produced some extras. These are not for sale, but we would appreciate charitable donations, the proceeds from which will be divided between The Halsway Manor Society and Liz’s favourite animal charity.


Here is a brief sample of one of the songs.

Updated: 3 Feb 07