I've spent most of the day preparing for next week's docent training on colonial life in our town for our 5th-grade tours. We're adding music to the tour and so I've been listening to various 18th-century songs: fife and drum, church music, ballads sung in taverns, early sea chanteys (though there is some debate about whether they're in the same category as 19th-century sailors' work songs), dance music (contradances, cotillon, jigs, reels, etc), and the music of West African captives (including spirituals). Definitely an eye-opening morning. Or should I say ear-opening. (For info, see here and here. For music samples, listen here.)
Then I went to make copies for training and stopped at a friend's house, which just happens to be a colonial and one of the oldest houses in town. It's marvelous and I loved getting a tour through all of its nooks and crannies, architectural phases (including probably late 18th-century addition), and beautiful details--Delft tiles around the fireplace, square nails in the door hinges, ceramic chandelier never wired for electricity, and even kitchen table made out of an old door! Yes, I had a little house envy. But if I lived there, I'd want to wear colonial clothes all the time, cook in the fireplace, and forego electricity! I'm not sure my family would put up with that for long.
Which is why I love being a costumed interpreter.
(And why I just bought new stays and a straw hat!)