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Shakespearean Songs

Word count: 935

Song Cycle by Joseph W. Baber (b. 1937)

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?. Take, o take [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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

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Take, o take those lips away,
That so sweetly [were]1 forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights [that]2 do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again;
Seals of love, [but]3 seal'd in vain, sealed in vain.

Hide, o hide those hills of snow
that thy frozen bosom wears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
are yet of those that April wears;
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.


View original text (without footnotes)
Note: quoted by John Fletcher, in Bloody Brother, 1639 and by William Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure, Act IV, scene 1, c1604 (just one stanza)
1 Bishop: "are"
2 Bishop: "which"
3 Bishop: "tho'"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Willow song [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER GER GER GER GER

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Based on

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Desdemona
 The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
 Sing all a green willow:
 Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
 Sing willow, willow, willow:
 The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur'd her moans;
 Sing willow, willow, willow;
 Her salt tears fell from her, and soften'd the stones;

 [Lay by these:--]1

 Sing willow, willow, willow;

 [Prithee, hie thee; he'll come anon:--]1

 Sing all a green willow [must be my garland.]2

 [Sing all a green willow;]3

 [Let nobody blame him; his scorn I approve,-]4

 [Nay, that's not next.--Hark! who is't that knocks? 

Emilia:
 It's the wind.]1

Desdemona:
 [Sing willow, willow, willow,]3
 [I call'd my love false love; but what said he then? 
 Sing willow, willow, willow:
 If I court moe women, you'll couch with moe men!]4
 [Sing willow, willow, willow,]3


View original text (without footnotes)
1 not set by Fortner, Korngold, Parry, Vaughan Williams
2 Korngold: "my garland must be"
3 added by Korngold
4 not set by Parry, Vaughan Williams; Fortner: "I'd called my love false love, but what did he say? / Sing willow, willow willow,/ If I court moe women, you'll couch with moe men!"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. 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]

?. The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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Stephano              
[I shall no more to sea, to sea,
Here shall I die ashore --]1
This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man's
funeral: well, here's my comfort.]2

(Drinks)

(Sings)

 The master, the swabber,  the boatswain, and I,
 The gunner and his mate
 Loved Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
 But none of us cared for Kate;
 For she had a tongue with a tang,
 Would cry to a sailor, 'Go hang!'
 She loved not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
 Yet a tailor might scratch her where'er she did itch:
 Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang!
 [This is a scurvy tune too: but here's my comfort.]2


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Omitted by Bachlund and Hall.
2 Omitted by Bachlund.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Blow, blow thou winter wind [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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

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

  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • FRE French (Français) (François Pierre Guillaume Guizot)
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (David Paley) , "Stürm, stürm du Winterwind!", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Soffia, soffia vento invernale", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Soffia, soffia, vento d'inverno", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Blow, blow thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As [man's]1 ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
[Because]2 thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
[ Heigh ho! sing heigh ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.]3

Freeze, freeze thou [bitter]4 sky,
[Thou dost]5 not bite so [nigh]6
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As [friend]7 remember'd not.
[ Heigh ho! sing heigh ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.]3


View original text (without footnotes)
Note: In Steele's score, "Heigh" is spelled "Hey"
1 Arne: "men's"
2 Parry: "Although"
3 not set by Arne.
4 Fortner: "winter"
5 Clearfield, Holman: "That does"
6 Korngold: "high"
7 Clearfield: "a friend"; Steele: "friends"

Submitted by Ted Perry

?. Full fathom five [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

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.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Ives.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Tell me where is fancy bred [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): DUT FRE ITA

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Tell me where is Fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourishèd?
Reply, reply.

It is engender'd in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and Fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let us all ring Fancy's knell:
I'll begin it, - Ding, dong, bell.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Take, o take [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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

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


Take, o take those lips away,
That so sweetly [were]1 forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights [that]2 do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again;
Seals of love, [but]3 seal'd in vain, sealed in vain.

Hide, o hide those hills of snow
that thy frozen bosom wears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
are yet of those that April wears;
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.


View original text (without footnotes)
Note: quoted by John Fletcher, in Bloody Brother, 1639 and by William Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure, Act IV, scene 1, c1604 (just one stanza)
1 Bishop: "are"
2 Bishop: "which"
3 Bishop: "tho'"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. It was a lover and his lass [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FIN FRE GER GER GER

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


It was a lover and his lass,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
That o'er the green [corn-field]1 did pass.
  In [the]2 spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

[Between the acres of the rye,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country [folks]3 would lie,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring. ]4

[This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that [a life]5 was but a flower
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.]4

[And therefore take the present time]6
  [With]7 a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crownéd with the prime
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Morley: "cornfields"
2 omitted by Barton, Bush, and Morley, passim.
3 Delius, Dring: "folk"
4 In Dring and Parry, only the first and third lines are set.
5 sometimes "life"?
6 Barton, Morley : "Then, pretty lovers, take the time"
7 Bush: "And with"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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