Willow song
Language: Middle English 
The poore soule sate sighinge by a Sickamore tree, 
Singe willo, willo, willo 
wth his hand in his bosom & his heade vpon his knee 
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo, 
shalbe my gareland 
Singe all a greene willo, 
willo, willo willo, 
Aye me the greene willo must be my gareland.
 
He sight in his singinge and made a greate moane; 
Singe willo, willo, willo 
I am deade to all pleasure, my trewe loue she is gone,
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo 
shalbe my gareland

The mute bird sate by him, was made tame by his moanes,
Singe willo, willo, willo 
The trewe teares fell from him would haue melted the stones, 
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo 
shalbe my gareland 
Singe all a greene willo, 
willo, willo willo, 
Aye me the greene willo must be my gareland.

Com all you forsaken & mourne you wth mee 
Singe willo, willo, willo 
Who speakes of a false loue, mynes falser then thee 
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo 
shalbe my gareland 
Let Loue no more boast her, in pallas nor bower 
Singe willo, willo, willo 
it budds but it blasteth, ere it be a flower 
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo 
shalbe my gareland 
Singe all a greene willo, 
willo, willo willo, 
Aye me the greene willo must be my gareland.

Thowe faire & more false, I dye wth thy wounde
Singe willo, willo, willo 
thowe hast lost the truest louer that goes vpõ the ground 
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo 
shalbe my gareland 
Let no body chyde her, her scornes1 I approue, 
Singe willo, willo, willo 
Shee was borne to be false, and I to dye for Loue 
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo 
shalbe my gareland 
Singe all a greene willo, 
willo, willo willo, 
Aye me the greene willo must be my gareland.

Take this for my farewell and latest adewe, 
Singe willo, willo, willo 
write this on my Tombe that in loue I was trewe 
o willo willo willo willo 
O willo willo willo willo 
shalbe my gareland 
Singe all a greene willo, 
willo, willo willo, 
Aye me the greene willo must be my gareland.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with British Museum, Add. Ms. 15117, fol. 18. Cited John P. Cutts A Reconsideration of the "Willow Song", Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 10, No. 1, University of California Press on behalf of the American Musicological Society, Spring 1957, pp. 14-24.

1 may be "stormes" as the letters in the manuscript are unclear

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Researcher for this text: Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-12-18
Line count: 63
Word count: 387