Translation © by David K. Smythe

The twa corbies
Language: English 
As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the [t'other]1 say,
'[Where]2 sall we gang and dine [today]3?'

"In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and [his]4 lady fair.

His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk, to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady's ta'en another mate,
So we may make our dinner sweet.

Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue e'en;
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.

Many a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken [whare]2 he is gane:
O'er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair."

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Percy Aldridge Grainger, John Ireland, Thomas Ravenscroft.

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by A. Aleksandrova ENG RUS ; composed by Sigizmund Mikhailovich Blumenfel'd.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by (Karl) Wilhelm Osterwald (1820 - 1887) ENG RUS ; composed by Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG RUS ; composed by Sigizmund Mikhailovich Blumenfel'd.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG ; composed by Anna Teichmüller.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799 - 1837) , no title, written 1828, first published 1828 ENG ; composed by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Aliabev, Sigizmund Mikhailovich Blumenfel'd, Aleksandr Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, Nikolai Karlovich Medtner, Vladimir Ivanovich Rebikov, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein, V. Ryabov, Georgiy Vasil'yevich Sviridov, Aleksei Nikolayevich Verstovsky, Mikhail Yur'yevich Viel'gorsky.

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

  • ENG English (David K. Smythe) , "The two ravens", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , no title, first published 1826


Researcher for this text: David K. Smythe

Text added to the website: 2003-11-02 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:57
Line count: 20
Word count: 139

The two ravens
Language: English  after the English 
As I was walking all alone,
I heard two ravens complaining;
The one to the other saying,
'Where shall we go and dine today?'

"In behind that old field wall,
I know that there lies a new-slain knight;
And nobody knows that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.

His hound is to the hunting gone,
His hawk, to fetch the wild-fowl home,
His lady's taken another mate,
So we may make our dinner sweet.

You'll sit on his white collar-bone,
And I'll peck out his pretty blue eyes;
With this lock of his golden hair
We'll roof our nest when it grows bare.

Very many for him lament,
But none shall know where he is gone:
Over his white bones, when they are bare,
The wind shall blow for evermore."

Authorship

  • Translation from English to English copyright © by David K. Smythe, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
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Based on
  • a text in English from Volkslieder (Folksongs) , "The twa corbies", published by Sir Walter Scott, as written down, from tradition, by a lady, from The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. 3, James Ballantyne, Edinburgh, first published 1803

 

Text added to the website:
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:57
Line count: 20
Word count: 135