Thrown like a star in my vast sleep,
I'm opening my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea, gazing with tranquility'
Twas then when the hurdy gurdy man came singing songs of love
Then when the hurdy gurdy man came singing songs of love
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang (3X)
Histories of ages past, unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity, the crying of humanity'
Tis then when the hurdy gurdy man comes singing songs of love
Then when the hurdy gurdy man comes singing songs of love
Here comes the roly-poly man, he's singing songs of love
Roly poly, roly poly, roly poly poly he sangRoly poly, roly poly, roly poly poly he sang
In April, 2006, I went to Union Square in NYC to meet my daughter who works at Washington Irving High School, more or less across the street from Union Square. As I departed from the subway station to the Square, I was confronted by a young girl sitting there, playing the strangest looking and even stranger sounding insturment. I asked her what it was and she informed me that it was a Hurdy Gurdy. She played it by turning a crank on one end as she pressed some notes that seemed to pluck strings. I can't say that I liked the sound, but I was more than pleased to have something to identify that oldie but goody Donovan song.
Then last Saturday I went to the last of three plays that were presented by a Theater Company in NYC called Theater For A New Audience that is basically a classical company, Shakespeare and the like, but takes a new look and in this case had a theme to the triumverate. The plays were The Jew of Malta, The Merchant of Venice, and Oliver Twist. The theme, as you may have already guessed, was Jews and how they are portrayed in classical literature and plays and what it meant then and what it means for today. The first two plays starred F. Murray Abraham (of the movie, Amadeus fame). It was, however in the last play, Oliver Twist, which contained some incredible accapella singing as well as some instruments of the day (that being the early 1800's)which included, yes, the Hurdy Gurdy!
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang