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Shakespeare Songs, Book III

Word count: 296

by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895 - 1968)

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1. Orpheus [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN FRE GER GER GER SWE

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):


Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing:	

To his music, plants and flowers
Ever [sprung]1; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.

Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.

In sweet music is such art:
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.


View original text (without footnotes)
Quoted in Shakespeare's Henry VIII, Act III scene 1
1 Greene: "rose"; Blitzstein: "sprang"

Submitted by Ted Perry

2. Silvia [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ITA SPA

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Based on
  • a text in English by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Song", appears in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene 2 DUT FIN FRE SPA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): David Werner Amram, Godfrey Edward Pellew Arkwright, Joseph W. Baber, Mary Grant Carmichael, Peter Dickinson, Gerald Finzi, John Linton Gardner, Juliana Hall, Mervyn, Lord Horder, the Second Baron of Ashford, Sven Eric Emanuel Johanson, Juhani Komulainen, Noël Lee, Roger Quilter. Go to the text.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Aan Silvia", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Chi è mai Silvia che i pastori", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elisa Rapado) , "A Silvia", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Was ist Silvia, saget an,
Daß sie die weite Flur preist?
Schön und zart seh' ich sie nah'n,
Auf Himmels Gunst und Spur weist,
Daß ihr Alles unterthan.

Ist sie schön und gut dazu?
Reiz labt wie milde Kindheit;
Ihrem Aug' eilt Amor zu,
Dort heilt er seine Blindheit,
Und verweilt in süßer Ruh.

Darum Silvia tön', o Sang,
Der holden Silvia Ehren;
Jeden Reiz besiegt sie lang,
Den Erde kann gewähren:
Kränze ihr und Saitenklang!


Confirmed with William Shakspeare's [sic] sämmtliche dramatische Werke übersetzt im Metrum des Originals II. Bändchen. Die beiden Edelleute von Verona, von Bauernfeld. Wien. Druck und Verlag von J. P. Sollinger. 1825, page 55; and with William Shakspeare's sämmtliche dramatische Werke und Gedichte. Uebersetzt im Metrum des Originals in einem Bande nebst Supplement, [...] Wien. Zu haben bei Rudolph Sammer, Buchhändler. Verlegt bei J. P. Sollinger, 1826, page 32.

Note: The song appears in Die beiden Edelleute von Verona, act 4, scene 2.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

3. For the rain it raineth every day [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DAN FIN FRE GER NOR SWE

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):


When that I was and a little tiny boy,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
For the rain it raineth every day.

[ But when I came, alas! to wive,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.]2

[ But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain it raineth every day.]3

A great while ago the world [begun]4,
[With]1 hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Amram: "With a"
2 Omitted by Amram.
3 set only by Baxter.
4 Amram: "began"

Submitted by Ted Perry

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