Song: Icicles

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Composer: Vivien Ellis

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This winter song with original melody and words by Daniel O’Byrne, a member of Dragon Cafe Singers, and Vivien Ellis, was written for the group to perform at the Globe Theatre’s annual community Concert for Winter. Beginning with Shakespeare’s evocative lyrics about winter, from Love’s Labours Lost, the song fast-forwards to 21st century winter in the city, with poverty and consumerism cheek-by-jowl. The owl’s merry call – too-whit, too-whoo! – hooting through the centuries, inspires the chorus, and invites audience participation. Explanations of seventeenth century English: ‘blows his nail’ – warm fingers with breath; ‘parson’s saw’ – sermon; ‘roasted crabs’ – apples in wassail bowl. ‘Ness’, a familiar form of Vanessa, also means ‘pure’ (Old Greek), ‘hunger’ (Celtic), and ‘miracle, magic, wonder’ (Hebrew).