Six Songs for two voices, from Shakespeare (reissued as Six Shakespeare Songs)

Song Cycle by Mary Grant Carmichael (1851 - 1935)

Word count: 624

1. Tell me where is fancy bred [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. A poor soul sat sighing [sung text not yet checked]

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

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Based on

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

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!"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Under the greenwood tree [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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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

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Take, o take those lips away [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sarah L. Weller) , "Nimm, so nimm doch Deine Lippen fort", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POL Polish (Polski) (Jan Kasprowicz) , "Śpiew Pacholęcia", Warsaw, first published 1907

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'"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. When that I was a little tiny boy [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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

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

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

6. Who is Sylvia [sung text not yet checked]

Who is Silvia? what is she?
That all our Swaines commend her?
Holy, faire, and wise is she.
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.

Is she kinde as she is faire?
For beauty lives with kindnesse:
Love doth to her eyes repaire,
To helpe him of his blindnesse:
And being help'd, inhabits there.

Then to Silvia, let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortall thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling.
To her let us Garlands bring.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kuka on Silvia?", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À Silvia", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , "¿Quién es Silvia?", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. London. Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623 (Facsimile from the First Folio Edition, London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly. 1876), page 33 of the Comedies.


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]