According to legend, St. George lived long before the English nation had come into being. He is supposed to have been a Roman centurion, born in Cappadocia in what is now Turkey about 280 A.D. He was beheaded for defending Christianity under the rule of the Emperor Diocletian April 23, 303 A.D.
Legends grew up around him and the most popular one is of his slaying a great dragon, saving the Kings daughter who had been offered as a sacrifice to the dragon in the hopes of appeasing it. Over time, he became a soldiers saint and defender of women, the role model for chivalrous knights of the Middle Ages.
In 1222 A.D., the Council of Oxford declared St. Georges Day a public holiday, and after the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, St. George became the patron saint of England. The day continued as a day of celebration with parades and pageantry until the reign of Edward VI.
Recently, there has been attempts to have the British government once more make April 23 an official holiday. Many people are beginning to observe the day once again, and The Mill Race Folk Society will do its best to do its bit by having a weekend of traditional English folk music and dance.
On Friday April 22), there will be a concert in the Galt Room at Café 13 by local performers Tethera, County Vaudeville and Geoff Lewis. The music starts at 8pm and tickets are $10.00.
Tethera play lively joyous English country dance music with occasional whimsical songs . The band consists of Paul Morris (vocals, melodeon, concertina and mandolin), Brian Sinclair (mandocello, guitar and banjo), Gwen Potter (violin) and Brad McEwen (cittern and vocals).
County Vaudeville is a duo specializing in old English Music hall songs from the early years of the 20th Century. Paul Morris is in this act as well, along with Peter Stephens (guitar and vocals).
Geoff Lewis, originally from Stockton on Tees, is a ballad singer with an uncanny ability to touch the listeners heart. He sings both traditional and contemporary songs from the traditional repertoire and accompanies his singing with understated but perfectly suited guitar accompaniment.
Saturday, April 23 is St. Georges Day itself and there will be folk dance demonstrations in Civic Square between 1pm and four 4pm. In between their exertions, the dancers will retire across the road to the Golden Kiwi Pub for some music, singing and refreshments.
Featured dance groups are Oakville Ale & Sword, Forest City Morris and Cambridge’s own Wolf at the Door Molly Dancers.
If the weather is inclement, the new City Hall will be the rain venue for the dancing. So, if you don’t see them in the Square, they will either be in the pub or in the atrium at City Hall. There is no admission fee for this event, but donations to the Mill race Folk Society will be gratefully accepted.
Come down and join us for a bit of English folk music, remarkable ale, good food and good company.
Sponsored by the Downtown Cambridge Business Improvement Association.
Special Thanks to the Community Services Department of the city of Cambridge, the Golden Kiwi Pub and Café 13.
For further information, please see: www.millracefolksociety.com under Events.