Catch of the Day

Suitable for grown-ups only!

catch /katʃ/

Music. a round, especially one in which the words are so arranged as to produce ludicrous effects or hidden, often bawdy content. 

An ongoing series exploring the world of the musical "Catch".

These musical rounds were written by many well-known composers including Thomas Arne, John Blow and perhaps the most prolific catch writer, Henry Purcell. Generally designed to be sung in the tavern or coffee house, these songs utilise a mixture of themes. Occasionally patriotic or satirical, but more often concerned with drinking or with sexual situations. Some are downright obscene while others use innuendo. Very often a seemingly innocent song when put together will reveal an otherwise hidden phrase (often fairly rude).

The songs explored on these pages all come from the period roughly between the early 1600s to the late 1700s. They provide an incredible insight into the daily lives of people centuries ago and really bring a period of history to life. They humanise what can otherwise seem like an unrelatable past, illustrating just how much we actually have in common with people from centuries ago.

Disclaimer - The recordings of these catches may vary in quality due to standard of current equipment and amount of time available to record and upload. They are only really intended to be of interest to those curious and a bit of fun for me.