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Three Songs from William Shakespeare

Word count: 256

Song Cycle by Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)

French (Français) translation: Trois Chansons de William Shakespeare

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1. Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly? [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN FRE FRE HUN ITA JPN ROM RUS

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


Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly,
Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tunèd sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing.
  Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
  Sings this to thee: "Thou single wilt prove none."


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Submitted by Jeroen Scholten

2. Full fathom five thy father lies [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN FRE FRE GER GER IRI ITA NOR SPA

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Lidy van Noordenburg) , "Vijf vadem diep", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy de Pourtalès)
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (David Paley) , "Voll Faden fünf", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Tuo padre giace a una profondità di cinque tese", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • NOR Norwegian (Bokmål) (Arild Bakke) , "På fem favner", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
[Ding-dong.]1
Hark! now I hear them, - ding-dong bell.


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1 omitted by Ives.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Spring [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FIN FRE FRE GER GER GER GER NOR

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

  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kevät", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo)
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , "Lied. Der Frühling", first published 1870
  • NOR Norwegian (Bokmål) (Arild Bakke) , "Når spraglet tusenfryd", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


When daisies pied and violets blue
 [And lady-smocks all silver white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,]1
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo, then on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
  Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: o word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
  And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
[When]2 turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
  And maidens bleach their summer [smocks]3,
The cuckoo, then on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
  Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: o word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Stravinsky: reversed.
2 Arne: "And"
3 Arne: "frocks"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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