Melismata; Musical Fancies fitting the court, city, and country humoursMelismata; Musical Fancies fitting the court, city, and country humours

Song Cycle by Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582 - c1635)

Word count: 835

?. The three ravens [sung text checked 1 time]

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
Down a down hey down hey down.
[And]1 they were [as]2 black as they might be,
With a down.
Then one of them said to his [mate]3:
"Where shall we our breakfast take?"
With a down derry derry derry down down.

Down in yonder greenfield,
Down a down hey down hey down.
There lies a knight slain under his shield;
With a down.
His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they [can]1 their master keep.
With a down derry derry derry down down.

His hawks they fly so eagerly,
Down a down hey down hey down.
There is no fowl dare [come him]4 nigh
With a down.
[But] down there comes a fallow doe,
As great with young as she might go.
With a down derry derry derry down down.

[O she lifts]5 up his bloody head,
Down a down hey down hey down.
And kissed his wounds that were so red.
With a down.
She got him up upon her back
And carried him to [an]6 earthen lake.
With a down derry derry derry down down.

She buried him before the prime,
Down a down hey down hey down.
She was dead herself ere evensong time.
With a down.
[Now]7 God send every gentleman
Such [hounds, such hawks]8 and such a leman.
With a down derry derry derry down down.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Tinelot Wittermans) , "Dutch Translation", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Ireland.
2 omitted by Grainger.
3 Grainger: "make"
4 Ravenscroft, Ireland: "him come"
5 Ravenscroft, Ireland: "She lifted"
6 omitted by Grainger and Ireland.
7 omitted by Ravenscroft.
8 Ravenscroft: "hawks, such hounds"
Note: "leman" means 'sweetheart'

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The bellman's song [sung text checked 1 time]

Maids to bed and cover coal;
Let the mouse out of her hole;[Pg 75]
Crickets in the chimney sing
Whilst the little bell doth ring;
If fast asleep, who can tell
When the clapper hits the bell?

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. A wooing song of a yeoman of Kent’s son [sung text checked 1 time]

I have house and land in Kent,
  And if you’ll love me, love me now;
Twopence-halfpenny is my rent,
  I cannot come every day to woo.
    Chorus. Twopence-halfpenny is his rent,
           And he cannot come every day to woo.

Ich am my vather’s eldest zonne,
  My mother eke doth love me well,
For ich can bravely clout my shoone,
  And ich full well can ring a bell.
    Chorus.  For he can bravely clout his shoone,
           And he full well can ring a bell.

My vather he gave me a hog,
  My mouther she gave me a zow;
I have a God-vather dwels thereby,
  And he on me bestowed a plow.
    Chorus.  He has a God-vather dwells thereby,
           And he on him bestowed a plough.

One time I gave thee a paper of pins,
  Another time a tawdry-lace;
And if thou wilt not grant me love,
  In truth ich die bevore thy face.
    Chorus.  And if thou wilt not grant his love,
           In truth he’ll die bevore thy vace.

Ich have been twice our Whitson-lord,
  Ich have had ladies many vair,
And eke thou hast my heart in hold
  And in my mind zeems passing rare.
    Chorus.  And eke thou hast his heart in hold
           And in his mind seems passing rare.

Ich will put on my best white slops
  And ich will wear my yellow hose,
And on my head a good grey hat,
  And in’t ich stick a lovely rose.
    Chorus.  And on his head a good grey hat,
           And in’t he’ll stick a lovely rose.

Wherefore cease off, make no delay,
  And if you’ll love me, love me now;
Or else ich zeek zome oderwhere,
  For I cannot come every day to woo.
    Chorus.  Or else he’ll zeek zome oderwhere,
           For he cannot come every day to woo.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The courtier’s good morrow to his mistress [sung text checked 1 time]

Canst thou love and lie alone?
Love is so disgracèd,
Pleasure is best
Wherein is rest
In a heart embracèd.
Rise, rise, rise!
Daylight do not burn out;
Bells do ring and birds do sing,
Only I that mourn out.

Morning-star doth now appear,
Wind is hushed and sky is clear;
Come, come away, come, come away!
Canst thou love and burn out day?
Rise, rise, rise!
Daylight do not burn out;
Bells do ring and birds do sing,
Only I that mourn out.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The marriage of the frog and the mouse [sung text checked 1 time]

It was the frog in the well,
  Humbledum, humbledum,
And the merry mouse in the mill,
  Tweedle, tweedle, twino.

The frog would a wooing ride
Sword and buckler by his side.

When he upon his high horse set,
His boots they shone as black as jet.

When he came to the merry mill-pin, —
“Lady Mouse, been you within?”

Then came out the dusty mouse:
“I am Lady of this house:

Hast thou any mind of me?”
“I have e’en great mind of thee?”

“Who shall this marriage make?”
“Our Lord which is the rat,”

“What shall we have to our supper?”
“Three beans in a pound of butter?”

When supper they were at,
The frog, the mouse, and e’en the rat;

Then came in Gib our cat,
And catched the mouse e’en by the back.

Then did they separate,
And the frog leaped on the floor so flat.

Then came in Dick our drake,
And drew the frog e’en to the lake.

The rat run up the wall,
  Humbledum, humbledum;
A goodly company, the Devil go with all!
  Tweedle tweedle twino.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]