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The LiederNet Archive

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Songs of Springtime

Word count: 678

Song Cycle by Ernest John Moeran (1894 - 1950)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. Under the greenwood tree [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN FRE GER GER GER

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Mark de Vries) , "Onder het loofdak", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • FRE French (Français) (François Pierre Guillaume Guizot)
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Julia Hamann) , "Unterm Baum im Maienwald", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And [turn]1 [his]2 merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleas'd with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

If it do come to pass
That any man turn ass,
Leaving his wealth and ease,
A stubborn will to please,
Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame:
Here shall he see
Gross fools as he,
An if he will come to me.
Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Quilter: "tune"
2 Korngold: "the"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The River-God's song [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Do not fear to put thy feet
Naked in the river sweet;
Think not leech, or newt, or toad,
Will bite thy foot, when thou hast trod;

Nor let the water, rising high,
As thou [wadest]1, make thee cry
And sob; but ever live with me,
And not a wave shall trouble thee!


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1 Hundley: "wadest in"

Submitted by Barbara Miller

3. Spring, the sweet Spring [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Julia Hamann) , "Frühling", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the [shepherds pipe]1 all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Spring! The sweet Spring!


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Argento: "shepherd pipes"

Submitted by Ted Perry

4. Love is a sickness [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Love is a sickness full of woes,
  All remedies refusing;
A plant that [with most]1 cutting grows,
  Most barren with best using,
      Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
  If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries --
      Heigh ho!

Love is a torment of the mind,
  A tempest everlasting;
And Jove hath made [it of]2 a kind
  Not well, nor full, nor fasting.
      Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
  If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries --
      Heigh ho!


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Parry: "most with"
2 Ireland, Moeran, Raynor: "of it"

Submitted by Ted Perry

5. Sigh no more, ladies [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT DUT FIN FIN FRE FRE FRE ITA

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Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
[ One foot in sea and one on shore;
To one thing constant never. ]1
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
[ The fraud of men was ever so
Since summer first was leavy. ]1
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lines reversed in version set by Fisher

Submitted by Ted Perry

6. Good wine [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Now that the Spring hath filled our veins
  With kind and active fire,
And made green liveries for the plains,
  And every grove a choir;

Sing we a song of merry glee,
  And Bacchus fill the bowl.
Then here's to thee! And thou to me
  And every thirsty soul.

Nor care nor sorrow e'er paid debt,
  Nor never shall do mine;
I have no cradle going yet,
  Not I, by this good wine.

No wife at home to send for me,
  No hogs are in my ground,
No suit at law to pay a fee;
  Then round, old jockey, round!

Shear sheep that have them, cry we still,
  But see that no man 'scape
    To drink of the sherry 
    That makes us so merry, 
  And plump as the lusty grape.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. To daffodils [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FIN GER

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "Aan de narcissen", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Narsisseille", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "An Narzissen", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to [the]1 evensong,
And, having pray'd together, we	
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die,
As your hours [do,]2 and dry
Away,
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Darke.
2 omitted by Farrar.

Submitted by Ted Perry

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