'Sweet the merry bells ring round': John Clare's songs for the drawing room

McCue, K. (2020) 'Sweet the merry bells ring round': John Clare's songs for the drawing room. In: Kovesi, S. and Lafford, E. (eds.) Advances in John Clare Studies. Palgrave: London. (In Press)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


While John Clare’s contribution as collector of the songs, fiddle tunes and ‘folklore’ of Northamptonshire is now well recognized, there has been little scholarly investigation into the musical settings of his songs for the growing domestic music market, published between the early 1820s and the years following Clare’s death in 1864. This chapter presents new information on these contemporary appearances of Clare’s songs, examining who was setting, publishing and performing his songs in the drawing room and beyond, and how they related to the publication of Clare’s lyrical texts during his lifetime. Such exploration also enables reflection on Clare’s aspirations for his songs, and his position amidst a sparkling firmament of famous songwriting contemporaries, including Robert Burns, James Hogg and Thomas Moore.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Song, music, lyric, Clare, Byron, Burns, Moore.
Status:In Press
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCue, Professor Kirsteen
Authors: McCue, K.
Subjects:M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record