Adew, Sweet Amarillis

Music: John Wilbye/Anton Brejestovski
Lyrics: Anonimus
in Kywitt! Kywitt! 2008

Adew, Sweet Amarillis,
For since to part your will is,
O heavy tiding,
Here is for me no abiding.
Yet once again
ere that I part with you
ere that I part with you
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Addio, bella Amarillo (1)
che dipartire da te è tuo desio,
o novella greve!
Quivi per me niuna speme
eppur una volta ancor
pria da te dipartir
pria da te dipartir

1) the name Amarilli is a female name of literary tradition dating back to the classics, into vogue in the Renaissance too; the Greek word (from amarússō, “to sparkle”, “to shine”) means “Shining”; with this name Linnaeus classified the bulbous plant of the Amaryllis
il nome Amarilli è un nome femminile di tradizione letteraria risalente ai classici che venne ripreso nel Rinascimento; il termine greco (da amarússō, “scintillare”, “brillare”) significa “Splendente”; con tale nome Linneo classificò la pianta bulbosa dell’Amaryllis

Cecil Corbell in “Renaissance SongBook vol.3” 2012
Music: John Wilbye
Lyrics: Anonimus/Corbel

Adew, Sweet Amarillis,
For since to part your will is,
O heavy tiding,
Here is for me no abiding.
Yet once again
ere that I part with you
ere that I part with you
Adieu, belle Amaryllis
Te souviens tu de nos promesses
Mon coeur est lourd
Et les sanglots de l’ocean
se prennent dans ma peine
Je pars avant que l’aube
Que l’aube ne vienne
Oh, heavy tiding
Here is for me no abiding
Yet once again
Ere that I part with you
Ere that I part with you

Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Addio bella Amarillis
che mi separo da te come tuo volere
o triste annuncio!
Qui per me nessuna speranza
eppure una volta ancora
prima ch’io mi separi da te
prima ch’io mi separi da te
Addio, bella Amarillis
ti ricordi le nostre promesse?
Il mio cuore è pesante
e i singhiozzi dell’oceano
sono presi nei miei affanni,
me ne vado prima dell’alba,
che non arrivi l’alba!
Oh triste annuncio!
Qui per me nessuna speranza
eppure una volta ancora
prima  ch’io mi separi da te
prima  ch’io mi separi da te

1) versi aggiuntivi di Cecil


Music by John Wilbye, No. 12 from The 1st Set of Madrigals, published in 1598.

John Rutter in “Flora Gave Me Fairest Flowers – Elizabethan Madrigals”


Lady Greensleeves

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Greensleeves is a song coming from the English Renaissance (with undeniable Italian musical influences) that tells us about the courtship of a very rich gentleman and a Lady who rejects him, despite the generous gifts.

It was the year 1580 when Richard Jones and Edward White competed for prints of a fashion song, Jones with “A new Northern Dittye of the Lady Greene Sleeves” and White with “A ballad, being the Ladie Greene Sleeves Answere to Donkyn his frende “, then after a few days, White again with another version:” Greene Sleeves and Countenance, in Countenance is Greene Sleeves “and a few months later Jones with the publication of” A merry newe “Northern Songe of Greene Sleeves” ; this time the reply came from William Elderton, who wrote the “Reprehension against Greene Sleeves” in February 1581.
Finally, the revised and expanded version by Richard Jones with the title “A New Courtly Sonnet of the Lady Green Sleeves” included in the collection ‘A Handeful of Pleasant Delites‘ of 1584, was the one that became the final version, still performed today (at least as regards the melody and for most of the text with 17 stanzas).

The Melody

The melody is born for lute, the instrument par excellence of Renaissance (and baroque) music that has seen in England a fine flowering with the likes of John Jonson and John Dowland. As evidenced in the in-depth study of Ian Pittaway the ancestor of Greensleeves is the old Passamezzo.
By the late 15th century, plucked instruments such as the lute were just beginning to develop a new technique to add to their repertoire of playing styles, chordal playing, leading the way for grounds to be chordal rather than the single notes of the mediaeval period. One of the chordal grounds that developed was the passamezzo antico, meaning old passamezzo (there was also the passamezzo moderno), which began in Italy in the early 16th century before it spread through Europe. It’s a little like the blues today in that you have a basic, unchanging chord sequence and, on top of that, a melody is added. (from here)
The chorus of Greensleeves however follows the melodic trend of a  Romanesca which in turn is a variant of the passamezzo.

lute melody in “Het Luitboek van Thysius” written by Adriaen Smout for the Netherlands in 1595

Baltimore Consort  instrumental version in Renaissance style for dancing

We find a choreography of the dance  only in later times, in the “English Dancing Master” by John Playford (both in the edition of 1686 and then published several times in the eighteenth century) as an English country dance

The Legend

anne-boleyn-roseIn 1526 Henry VIII wrote “Greensleeves” for Anna Bolena, right at the beginning of their relationship.
A suggestive hypothesis because both the melody that the text well suited to the character, that of his own he wrote several piece still today in the repertoire of many artists of ancient music; however the poem was not transcribed in any manuscript of the time and therefore we can not be certain of this attribution.
The misunderstanding was generated by William Chappell who in his “Popular Music of the Olden Time” (London: Chappell & Co, 1859) attributes the melody to the king, misinterpreting a quote by Edward Guilpin. “Yet like th ‘Olde ballad of the Lord of Lorne, Whose last line in King Harries dayes was borne.” (In Skialethia, or Shadow of Truth, 1598: the ballad “The Lord of Lorne and the False Steward” dates back to time of Henry VIII (King Harries) and, according to Chappell has always been sung on the melody Greensleeves.

The Tudor serie + The Broadside Band & Jeremy Barlow

Gregorian“,  ( I, III, VIII, IX)

Irish origins!?

William Henry Grattan Flood in A History of Irish Music (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1905) was the first to assume (without giving evidence) the irish origins. “In a manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin … Under date of 1566, there is a manuscript Love Song (without music), written by Donal, first Earl of Clancarty. A few years previously, an Anglo-Irish Song was written to the tune of Greensleeves.
Since then the idea of Irish paternity has become more and more vigorous so much so that this song is present in the compilations of Celtic music labeled as irish traditional.


A courting song or a dirty trick?

Roberto Venturi observes in his essay
Already at the time of Geoffrey Chaucer and the Tales of Canterbury (remember that Chaucer lived from 1343 to 1400) the green dress was considered typical of a “light woman”, that is a prostitute. She would therefore be a young woman of promiscuous customs; Nevill Coghill, the famous and heroic modern English translator of the Canterbury Tales, explains – referring to an interpretation of a Chaucerian step – that, at the time, the green color had precise sexual connotations, particularly in the phrase A green gown. It was the dress of a woman with some grass spots, who practiced (or suffered) a sexual intercourse in a meadow. If a woman was said to have “the green skirt”, in practice it was a whore.
The song would then be the lamentation of a betrayed and abandoned lover, or of a rejected customer; in short, you know, something far from regal (although in every age the kings were generally the first whoremongers of the Kingdom). Another possible interpretation is that the lover betrayed, or rejected, has wanted to revenge on the poor woman by devoting to her a delicious little song in which he calls her a whore through the metaphor of the “green sleeves” (translated from here)

Many interpreters, with versions both in ancient than modern style (also Yngwie Malmsteen plays it with his guitar and Leonard Cohen proposes a rewrite in 1974)
Today the text is rarely performed and only for two or four stanzas, but it is a song loved by choral groups that sing it more extensively.

In ‘A Handful of Pleasant Delites’, 1584, from the collection of Israel G. Young (about twenty strophe see) all the gifts that the nobleman makes to his Lady to court her:  “kerchers to thy head”, “board and bed”, “petticoats of the best”, “jewels to thy chest”, “smock of silk”, “girdle of gold”, “pearls”, “purse”, “guilt knives”, “pin case”, “crimson stockings all of silk”, “pumps as white as was the milk”, “gown of the grassy green” with “sleeves of satin”, but also “men clothed all in green” and “dainties”!

So many versions (see) and a difficult choice, but here is:

Alice Castle live 2005

 Loreena  McKennitt in The Visit 1991 (I, III) interpreted “as if she were singing Tom Waits

Jethro Tull  in Christmas Album 2003 (instrumental version)

David Nevue amazing piano version!

chorus (1)
Greensleeves(2) was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves my heart of gold
And who but my lady Greensleeves.
Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously(3).
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.
Your vows you’ve  broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.
I have been ready at  your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave,
I have both wagered life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.
Thy petticoat of sendle(4) white
With gold embroidered gorgeously;
Thy petticoat of silk and white
And these I bought gladly.
If you intend thus to  disdain,
It does the more enrapture me,
And even so, I still remain
A lover in captivity.
My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.
Thou couldst desire no earthly thing,
but still thou hadst it readily.
Thy music still to play and sing;
And yet thou wouldst not love me.
Well, I will pray to God on high,
that thou my constancy mayst see,
And that yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me.
Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
To God I pray to prosper thee,
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me
1) the first two sentences are sometimes reversed and start in the opposite direction
2) In the Middle Ages the green color was the symbol of regeneration and therefore of youth and physical vigor, meant “fertility” but also “hope” and with gold indicating pleasure. It was the color of medicine for its revitalizing powers. Color of love in the nascent stage, in the Renaissance it was the color used by the young especially in May; in women it was also the color of chastity.
But the other more promiscuous meaning is of “light woman always ready to roll in the grass”. And the charm of the ballad lies in its ambiguity!
Green is also the color that in fairy tales / ballads connotes a fairy creature.
The Gaelic words “Grian Sliabh” (literally translated as “sun mountain” or a “mountain exposed to the south, sunny”) are pronounced Green Sleeve (the song is also very popular in Ireland especially as slow air). Grian is also the name of a river that flows from Sliabh Aughty (County Clare and Galway)
3) the expressions are proper to the courtly lyric
4) sendal= light silk material

in the extended version the gifts of the suitor are many and expensive and it is all a complaint about “oh how much you costs me my dear!”

“Extended version
I bought three kerchers to thy head,
That were wrought fine and gallantly;
I kept them both at board and bed,
Which cost my purse well-favour’dly.
I bought thee petticoats of the best,
The cloth so fine as fine might be:
I gave thee jewels for thy chest;
And all this cost I spent on thee.
Thy smock of silk both fair and white,
With gold embroidered gorgeously;
Thy petticoat of sendall right;
And this I bought thee gladly.
Thy girdle of gold so red,
With pearls bedecked sumptously,
The like no other lasses had;
And yet you do not love me!
Thy purse, and eke thy gay gilt knives,
Thy pin-case, gallant to the eye;
No better wore the burgess’ wives;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Thy gown was of the grassy green,
The sleeves of satin hanging by;
Which made thee be our harvest queen;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Thy garters fringed with the gold,
And silver aglets hanging by;
Which made thee blithe for to behold;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
My gayest gelding thee I gave,
To ride wherever liked thee;
No lady ever was so brave;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
They set thee up, they took thee down,
They served thee with humility;
Thy foot might not once touch the ground;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
For every morning, when thou rose,
I sent thee dainties, orderly,
To cheer thy stomach from all woes;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!


L’empoisonneuse ancient murder ballad from France

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“Donna Lombarda” (“Dame Lombarde” means “Lady from Lombardy,”) or “Dona Bianca”  (Dame White) is perhaps the most famous of the Italian ballads, also widespread in France and French Canada (Quebec). The ballad handed down to the present day through an infinity of regional variations, tells the story of a young wife instigated by her lover to poison her husband and of a newborn baby who miraculously begins to speak to reveal the intrigue. A typical murder ballad of Celtic area with a supernatural event!(first part)


Born in the Piedmont area, soon with the title of “L’empoisonneuse “(The poisoner) or Dame Lombarde the ballad “Dona Bianca” crosses the Alps and arrives in French soil, the versions shown have the same melody (although the arrangements they can not be more different) and similar texts.

Véronique Chalot from J’ai Vu Le Loup, 1978. Medieval, dreamlike and hypnotic atmospheres and the enchanting fairy voice of Veronique
Malicorne from Colin 1975

Audrey Le Jossec-Nicolas Quemener Quartet live

Allons au bois, charmante dame
allons au bois;
Nous trouverons le serpent verde,
nous le tuerons.
Dans une pinte de vin rouge
nous le mettrons;
Quand ton mari viendra de chasse,
grand soif aura.
Tirez du vin, charmante dame,
tirez du vin!
– Oh, par ma foi, mon amant Pierre(1),
n’y a de tiré.
L’enfant du brés jamais ne parle,
a bien parlé:
– Ne buvez pas de ça, mon père,
vous en mourrez!
– Buvez ça vous, charmante dame,
buvez ça vous.
– Ah, par ma foi, mon amant Pierre,
n’a point de soif
Elle n’a pas bu demi-verre,
s’est renversée
Elle n’en a pas bu le plein verre,
a trépassé
English translation*
“Let us go to the woods, Dame Lombarde, let us go to the woods;
We will find the green serpent, and we shall slay it.
In a pint of red wine we shall place it;
When your husband returns from hunting, such thirst he will have.
Pour some wine, Dame Lombarde, pour some wine!”
“Oh, by my faith, my friend Pierre took none.”
The cradle baby never speaks, but he spoke well:
“Do not drink of it, my father—you’ll die of it.”
“You all shall drink, Dame Lombarde, drink of it.
By my faith, my friend Pierre is not thirsty.”
She drank less than half a glass, and fell over.
She did not finish a full glass, and crossed over.

* from here
1) in the French version we see a real triangle with lover and husband who are friends and go hunting together. The woman betrays herself because she refuses to serve the poisoned wine to her lover

Different text different melody but same subject, the ballad (Haute Savoie) is sometimes entitled “The Rossignolet” (not to be confused with the title “Rossignolet du bois”)

Mireille Ben ♪

Rossignolet du bois joli (1)
Mais enseignez-moi donc
Mais enseignez-moi donc
Enseignez-moi de la poison
C’est pour empoisonner
C’est pour empoisonner
Pour empoisonner mon mari
Qui est jaloux de moi (bis)
Allez là-haut sur ces coteaux
Là vous en trouverez (bis)
La tête d’un serpent maudit
Là vous le couperez
Entre deux plats d’or et d’argent
Là vous la pilerez
Dans une chopine de vin blanc
Là vous la verserez
Quand votre mari r’viendra des champs
Grande soif il aura
Il vous dira : Belle Isabeau
Apporte-moi de l’eau
Vous lui direz : c’est pas de l’eau
C’est du vin qu’il vous faut
A mesure que la belle versait
Le vin il noircissait
L’enfant qui était dans son berceau
Son père avertissait
Papa, papa n’en buvez pas
Ca vous ferait mourir
Il lui a dit : Belle Isabeau
T’en boiras devant moi
Oh ! non, oh ! non mon cher mari !
Oh ! non, je n’ai point soif
La mort devrait-elle y passer
La belle vous en boirez !(2)
Pour la couronne du roi de France,
Oui moi je le boira et je le finirai
Ah ! que maudite soit ma voisine
De m’avoir enseigné
English translation Cattia Salto
Pretty nightingale of the woods
show me then
show me then
show me about the poison
It is to poison
It is to poison
To poison my husband
Who is jealous of me ”
“Go up there on yon hills
And there you will find it
The head of a cursed snake
There, you will cut it,
And between two plates of gold and silver
There, you will crush it
In a pint of white wine
There, you will pour it
When your husband returns from the fields
He will have a great thirst
He will tell you: Bella Isabella
Bring me some water
You will tell him: it is not water
It’s some wine you need ”
As the beautiful woman poured
The wine became cloudy,
The child who was in the cradle
He warned his father
“Daddy, Dad, do not drink it
This will make you die! ”
He told her: “Bella Isabella
You will drink in front of me ”
“Oh! No, oh! No my dear husband!
Oh! No, I’m not really thirsty ”
“Death must pass here
Nice to drink from you! ”
“”For the crown of the king of France
Yes, I will drink it and finish it.
Ah! Cursed be my neighbor
For having instructed me”

version reported by Flavio Poltronieri
1) the revised version thus begins
Rossignolet du bois,
rossignolet sauvage,
apprends-moi ton langage,
apprends-moi-z à parler,
apprends-moi la manière
comment il faut aimer.
2) in the Piedmontese version, the husband forces his wife to show her his sword

Here is still a version that mixes the two texts but with a different ending: it is only the husband who dies from the poison
La Part du Feu from Le Vent du Nord, 2009 

Rossignolet du bois joli
enseigne-moi je t’en prie
Enseigne-moi de la poison
c’est pour empoisonner
Pour empoisonner mon mari
qui est jaloux de moi
Allez là-bas sur ces cours d’eau
là vous en trouverez
La tête d’un serpent méchant
là vous la couperez
Dans un grand plat d’or et d’argent là vous la pillerez
Quand votre mari arrivera du champ un grand soif il aura
Il vous dira ma bonne dame
donnez-moi donc de l’eau
Vous lui direz mon cher mari ce n’est pas de l’eau qu’il faut
C’est bien du vin mais pas de l’eau que vous boirerez
Tout pendant qu’il en buvait le vin qui noircissait
L’enfant qui était dans le berceau
son père avertissait
N’en buvez pas de ce vin-là
car ça vous ferait mourir
Pour moi la mort vraie y passait la grand soif que j’avais (1)
English translation Cattia Salto
“Pretty nightingale of the woods
show me then
show me about the poison
It is to poison
To poison my husband
Who is jealous of me ”
“Go down that stream
and there you will find
the head of a cursed snake
you will cut it
and in a tray of gold and silver
you will crush it
When your husband comes back from the fields / he will have a lot of thirst,
he will tell you – my beautiful lady,
bring me water
And you will tell him – my dear husband/ you do not need water
but of wine, it is not water
what you will drink- ”
While he was drinking
the wine became cloudy
and the infant who was in the cradle
he warned his father
“Do not drink that wine
that will make you die! ”
But the thirst I had
he killed me

1) it is the poisoned husband who bears the testimony of his death


Joan to the Maypole

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The song “John (Joan) to the Maypole” dates back at least to 1600, we know several text versions with the same title but also with different titles, (to “May-day Country Mirth”, “The Young Lads and Lasses”, ” Innocent Recreation “,” The Disappointment “) the first printed version dates back to 1630 when the melody is attributed to Felix White, and we find it in the collection” The Pills to Purge Melancholy “by Thomas D’Urfey c. 1720.

17th-century woodblock from the ballad sheet ‘The May Day Country Mirth’

The song describes a typical May Day on the lawn: couples dance around the May Pole to contend for the coveted award, the May garland. The winning couple will become King and Queen of May.
To organize May Day feast we need just a green, that is an open space outside the village, a well planted pole in the middle of the lawn, decorated with flower garlands, some “summer houses” where to sit in the shade and refresh with drinks.
In the painting by Charles Robert Leslie we see a scene celebrating the May with Queen Elizabeth depicted on the right in the foreground while being entertained by a jester. On the expanse of the second floor stands the May pole decorated with green garlands; around the pole the dances are taking place and the characters dressed by Robin Hood, Lady Marian, Fra Tack, but also a seahorse, a dragon and a buffoon (the classic characters of mummers and Morris) are well distinguishable.

Charles Robert Leslie – May Day in the reign of Queen Elizabeth

In the Victorian painting by William Powell Frith we find again the same situation described in the late medieval period: in the distance on the left stands out the profile of a church, not by chance: it was in fact the church that financed the May celebrations; with the beer sold, the parish church was maintained or the alms were distributed to the poor.

William Powell Frith (1819-1909) A May Day Celebration Oil on canvas 40 x 56 inches (101.6 x 142.3 cm) Private collection
William Powell Frith (1819-1909) A May Day Celebration

It is not even so strange that Beltane feast has merged under the control of the Catholic Church, but the Puritans were horrified by all May customs, thus May Pole and related celebrations see moments of obscurantism alternated with moments of tolerance (see more)

The tune is from “Margaret Board Lute Book” (here) the manuscript in the private collection of Robert Spencer, has been dated c1620 up to 1636 (it seems that lady Margaret took lessons from John Dowland).

Toronto Consort  from O Lusty May 1996 
in “The new standard song book”- (J.E.Carpenter) – 1866 with the title: “very popular at the time of Charles I”. A version of nine verses is featured in the broadside titled “The May-Day Country Mirth Or, The Young Lads and Lasses’ Innocent Recreation, Which is to be priz’d before Courtly Pomp and Pastime.” Bodleian collection, Douce Ballads 2 (152a ) and The Roxburghe Ballads: Illustrating the Last Years of the Stuarts Vol. 7, Part 1, edited by J. Woodfall Ebsworth (Hertford: Ballad Society, 1890) (see)

Joan to the Maypole away, let us on,
The time is swift and will be gone;
There go the lasses away to the green,
Where their beauties may be seen
Bess, Moll, Kate, Doll,
All the gay lasses
have lads to attend them,
Hodge, Nick, Tom, Dick,
Jolly brave dancers,
and who can mend them?
Did you not see the Lord of the May
Walk along in his rich array?
There goes the lass that is only his,
See how they meet and how they kiss.
Come Will, run Gill,
Or dost thou list to lose thy labour(1);
Kit Crowd scrape loud,
Tickle her, Tom, with a pipe and tabor!(2).
There is not any that shall out-vie
My little pretty Joan and I,
For I’m sure I can dance as well
As Robin, Jenny, Tom, or Nell.
Last year, we were here,
When Ruff Ralph he played us a bourée,
And we, merrily
Thumped it about and gained the glory.
Now, if we hold out
as we do begin,
Joan and I the prize shall win(3);
Nay, if we live till another day (4),
I’ll make thee lady of the May.
Dance round, skip, bound,
Turn and kiss, and then for a greeting.
Now, Joan, we’ve done,
Fare thee well
till the next merry meeting.

1) the exhortation refers to the musicians who are not yet ready with their instruments to kick off the dance.
2) Pipe and tabor or tabor-pipe is the three-hole flute associated with the tambourine, the flute is played with one hand and with the other one it is accompanied by a tambourine  (see more)
3) the May garland at stake
4) it is not clear whether the election dethroned the previous couple immediately or is the title valid for the following year.

second part


Staines Morris to the Maypole haste away

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In the TV series “The Tudors” an outdoor May Day has been set up, with the picturesque dancers of the Morris Dance, their rattles and handkerchiefs, the archery, the fight of the roosters, the dances with the ribbons around the May pole, performed by graceful maidens with flower crowns in their hair. The background music is titled “Stanes Morris”, in the video follow two reproductions, the first of  Les Witches group, the second a little slower of The Broadside Band.

The May poles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were very tall and decorated with green garlands, ribbons or two-color striped paintings: the tradition is rooted in England, Italy, Germany and France, a real focal point of the rousing activities at his feet , symbolic fulcrum of the group of dancers.

John Cousen: Ballando intorno al palo del Maggio in epoca elisabettiana


The melody is a dance reported in “The English Dancing Master” by John Playford, first edition of 1651, but already danced at the court of Henry VIII or in the Elizabethan era. In the video it is a Morris Dance while Playford describes it as a country dance (for instructions see)
Morris Dance version
It was William Chappell in his “Popular Music of the Old Time” of (1855-56) to combine the Tudor melody with the text “Maypole song” written in 1655 by Robert Cox for the comedy “Actaeon and Diana” . So Chappell writes “This tune is taken from the first edition of The Dancing Master. It is also in William Ballet’s Lute Book (time of Elizabeth); and was printed as late as about 1760, in a Collection of Country Dances, by Wright.
The Maypole Song, in Actæon and Diana, seems so exactly fitted to the air, that, having no guide as to the one intended, I have, on conjecture, printed it with this tune.

The text invites young people in following Love to dance and sing around the May Pole.
Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick from ‘Prince Heathen.’ 1969 (simply perfect!)

Shirley Collins from Morris On, 1972, the folk rock experiment of a group of excellent trad musicians John Kirkpatrick, Richard Thompson, Barry Dransfield, Ashley Hutchings  and Dave Mattacks.

Lisa Knapp & David Tibet from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017  (amazing version with a further step ahead of the 70s rock rework)

Come, ye young men, come along
with your music, dance and song;
bring your lasses in your hands,
for ‘tis that which love commands.
Then to the Maypole haste away
for ‘tis now a holiday,
Then to the Maypole haste away
for ‘tis now a holiday
‘Tis the choice time of the year,
For the violets now appear:
Now the rose receives its birth,
And pretty primrose decks the earth.
Here each bachelor may choose
One that will not faith abuse
Nor repay, with coy disdain
Love that should be loved again
And when you are reckoned now
For kisses you your sweetheart gave
Take them all again and more
It will never make them poor
When you thus have spent your time,
Till the day be past its prime,
To your beds repair at night,
And dream there of your day’s delight.

second part: JOAN TO THE MAYPOLE

Traditional Music (con spartito)

Salutation Carol

The Salutation Carol dates back to 1460-80 and resumes the Gospel narration of the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary: according to Luke an angel entered Mary’s house and revealed to her that she would conceive the Son of God “without knowing man”, it would be the Spirit Saint to come down on her and incarnate the divine son in her womb.
[The Salutation Carol risale al 1460-80 e riprende la narrazione evangelica dell’annunciazione dell’angelo Gabriele a Maria: secondo Luca un angelo entra in casa di Maria e le rivela che concepirà il Figlio di Dio “senza conoscere uomo”, sarà lo Spirito Santo a scendere su di lei e a incarnare nel suo grembo il figlio divino.]

The mythological history of the peoples is full of conceptions between gods and humans, and the Christian-Jews are not far behind.
[Di concepimenti tra dei e umani è piena la storia mitologica dei popoli e gli Ebrei-Cristiani non sono da meno.]

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell
this is the salutation of the Angel Gabriel
Tidings true there be come new,
Sent from the Trinity
By Gabriel to Nazareth,
City of Galilee.
A clean maiden, a pure virgin,
By her humility
Shall now conceive the Person
Second in Deity.
When that he presented was
Before her fair visage,
In most demure and goodly wise
He did to her homage;
And said, “Lady, from heaven so high.
That Lordes heritage,
For he of thee now born will be,
I’m sent on his message.”
“Hail, Virgin celestial,
The meek’st that ever was!
Hail, temple of the Deity!
Hail, mirror of all grace!
Hail, Virgin pure! I thee ensure,
Within a little space
Thou shalt conceive, and him receive
That shall bring great solace.”
Then bespake the Maid again
And answered womanly,
“Whate’er my Lord commandeth me
I will obey truly”
With “Ecce sum humillima
Ancilla Domini;
Secundum verbum tuum,
-She said,- Fiat mihi
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Annunciazione, Annunciazione, Annunciazione, questo è il Saluto dell’angelo Gabriele
Una veritiera notizia è arrivata oggi
mandata dalla Trinità (1)
per mezzo di Gabriele a Nazaret,
una città della Galilea.
Una fanciulla casta, una vergine pura
per la sua umiltà
concepirà la Seconda
Persona in Dio (2)
Quando si presentò
innanzi al suo bel viso
dal contegno più casto e saggio
fece a lei il suo omaggio
e disse “Signora, dall’alto dei Cieli
la Potenza dell’Altissimo (3)
verrà su di te , e allora sarà nato,
vi mando il suo messaggio”
“Salve, Vergine celeste
la più bella che ci sia!
Salve, tempio di Dio!
Salve specchio della Grazia!
Salve Vergine pura! Io ti assicuro,
tra poco
tu concepirai, e lui riceverai,
colui che porterà un grande conforto”
Allora parlò la fanciulla di nuovo
e rispose in modo muliebre
“Ciò che il mio Signore mi comanda
io obbedirò”
con “Ecco sono l’umile
ancella del Signore
secondo la tua parola
-disse- mi avvenga (3)”

1) the Trinity affirms that God is one, common to three distinct “persons” but of the same substance [la Trinità afferma che Dio è uno solo, unica “sostanza”, ma comune a tre “persone” distinte ma della stessa sostanza, Dio]
2) Christ was the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity, true God and true man at the same time. All divergent beliefs were defined as heresies.
[cioè il Figlio: Cristo era l’incarnazione della seconda persona eterna della Trinità, che era vero Dio e vero uomo contemporaneamente. Tutte le convinzioni divergenti furono definite come eresie.]
3) the Holy Spirit is indicated as the Divine Power, the Spirit of God (vital breath) in the world. It is expressed by symbols: the water of baptism (new life), the languages of fire of Pentecost (the energy of transformation), the wind, clouds and light are the biblical descriptions par excellence in particular concerning the Ark of the Alliance; the dove that descended on the head of Jesus during his baptism.[ lo Spirito Santo è indicato come la Potenza divina, lo Spirito di Dio (soffio vitale) nel mondo. Viene espresso per simboli: l’acqua del battesimo (la nuova vita), le lingue di fuoco delle Pentecoste (l’energia della trasformazione),  il vento (il soffio già citato che sottende alla creazione), nubi e luce sono le descrizioni bibliche per eccellenza in particolare riguardanti l’arca dell’Alleanza; la colomba che discese sul capo di Gesù durante il suo battesimo.]
3) Mary must give her consent to the conception so that it may be accomplished  [“Avvenga per me secondo la tua parola” Maria deve dare il suo consenso al concepimento perchè esso si compia]


Green groweth the Holly

“Green groweth the Holly” is a Renaissance madrigal attributed to Henry VIII. About thirty compositions have been attributed to him and appear in the “Henry VIII Manuscript” (Add. MS 31922) compiled by an anonymous contemporary courtier.
A passage with the same name and with the same first verse that then develops with different verses on the same Renaissance melody, was written by Percy Dearmer (1867-1936), he collected many religious hymns to reintroduce the musical tradition and medieval music English in the Church of England
Green groweth the Holly” è un madrigale rinascimentale attribuito a Enrico VIII. Una trentina di composizioni gli sono state attribuite  e compaiono nell'”Henry VIII Manuscript” (Add. MS 31922) compilato da un anonimo cortigiano coevo.
Un brano con lo stesso nome e con la stessa prima strofa che si sviluppa poi con versi differenti sulla stessa melodia rinascimentale, è stato scritto da Percy Dearmer (1867-1936), egli raccolse molti inni religiosi per reintrodurre la tradizione musicale e la musica medievale inglese nella Chiesa d’Inghilterra

Renaissance version

Henry VIII, who became King of England at 18, spoke 4 languages, played 3 musical instruments, sang and composed music. In the early years of his reign he actually behaved more like a prince devoted to pleasures than a king worried by the affairs of his kingdom.
“Green grows the holly” was published in 1522 as a 3-voice madrigal.
In affirming the masculine and vigorous force of the holly, the poet declares his loyalty to his beloved: she is the ivy that grows around him, and while in the rigor of winter all the other trees are bare, the King Holly and the Queen Ivy grow verdant and lush, so, courteously, he entrusts his heart to her; also that the love poetry of the time was expressed in the conventional forms of courtly love, most likely, love was truly felt by the poet.
The intertwining of the two evergreens recalls the Celtic Love Knot, treated in the category of Celtic and European ballads of this Blog (cf) in which corollary to romantic but not socially approved love, is the knot of love between the thorn and the rose, which grew from their respective graves of lovers and join together and intertwine with each other.
Enrico VIII, diventato re d’Inghilterra a 18 anni, parlava 4 lingue, suonava 3 strumenti musicali, cantava e componeva brani musicali. Nei primi anni del suo regno si comportava in effetti più come un principe dedito ai piaceri che un re preoccupato dagli affari del suo regno.
“Green grows the holly” (in italiano Verde cresce l’agrifoglio) è stato pubblicato nel 1522 come madrigale a 3 voci.
Nell’affermare la forza maschia e vigorosa dell’agrifoglio, il poeta dichiara la propria fedeltà all’amata: lei è l’edera che gli cresce attorno, e mentre nel rigore dell’inverno tutti gli altri alberi sono spogli, solo il re agrifoglio e la regina edera crescono verdeggianti e rigogliosi, così solo a lei, cortesemente, egli affida il suo cuore; anche che la poesia d’amore del tempo era espressa nelle forme convenzionali dell’amor cortese,  molto probabilmente, l’amore era sentito veramente dal poeta.
L’intreccio tra i due sempreverdi richiama il Nodo d’Amore celtico tra il rovo e la rosa già lungamente trattato nella categoria delle ballate celtiche e europee (vedi) in cui corollario all’amore romantico ma non socialmente approvato, è il nodo d’amore tra rovo e rosa, che cresciuti dalle rispettive tombe degli amanti si congiungono e intrecciano tra loro.

Henry saw for the first time Anne in March 1522 who, together with her sister Mary, attended a dance organized by Wolsey in honor of the imperial ambassadors. It was a masked ball on the subject of the assault on the castle of Love by the title Chateau Vert.
Enrico vide per la prima volta Anna nel marzo del 1522 che partecipava, assieme a sua sorella Maria, a un ballo organizzato da Wolsey in onore degli ambasciatori imperiali. Era un ballo in maschera sul tema dell’assalto al castello d’Amore dal titolo Chateau Vert.


A miniature castle had been set up in the hall with high ramparts and crenellated towers, the wooden scaffolding had been lined with green paper (for a ghostly effect the paper had been painted with verdigris). We have a report written by court reporter Edward Hall, which describes the whole performance of the ballet, but let us look at it in the transposition of the I Tudors TV series (here)
Un castello in miniatura era stato allestito nella sala del ricevimento con alti bastioni e torri merlate, l’impalcatura di legno era stata rivestita con carta verde, per un effetto spettrale la carta era stata tinteggiata con il verderame. Abbiamo un resoconto scritto dal cronista di corte Edward Hall, che descrive tutto lo svolgimento del balletto, ma guardiamolo nella trasposizione della Serie Tv I Tudors (vedi).

It is the moment of the Assault of the knights Amoress, Nobleness, Youth, Attendance, Loyalty, Pleasure, Gentleness and Liberty that throw oranges and dates against the rose petals and confetti thrown by the ladies on the defenders. Immediately the protectors of the castle, (in the video they wear black clothes) that is the feelings most hostile against love, they run away and the knights can climb the walls of the castle to pounce on the eight white dressed girls: Beauty, Honor, Perseverance, Kindness, Constanct, Courtesy, Bounty, Mercy and Pity. Anne played Perseverance and was immediately noticed by the king who began courting her during the dance to celebrate the conquest of the Green Castle.
It seems that she had whispered to him “Seduce me, write me letters, poems! I love poems! Enchant me with words, seduce me ..” and “Grene growth the holy” could be just one of these poems set to music to better help the King in his courtship ..
Or at least that’s how it could have gone …
E’ il momento dell’Assalto dei cavalieri Amorosità, Nobiltà, Giovinezza, Assistenza, Lealtà, Piacere, Garbo e Libertà che gettano sui difensori arance e datteri contro ai petali di rose e confetti lanciati dalle dame. Subito le protettrici del castello, (nel video indossano abiti neri) cioè i sentimenti più ostili all’amore, fuggono e i cavalieri possono scalare le mura del castello per avventarsi sulle otto ragazze bianco vestite: Bellezza, Onore, Perseveranza, Costanza, Cortesia, Generosità, Misericordia e Pietà. Anna impersonava la Perseveranza e fu subito notata dal re che si mise a corteggiarla durante il ballo per festeggiare la  conquista del Castello Verde.
Pare che lei gli avesse sussurrato “Seducetemi, scrivetemi lettere, poesie! Io adoro le poesieIncantatemi con le parole, seducetemi.. ” e la “Grene growth the holy” potrebbe essere proprio una di queste poesie messe in musica per meglio aiutare il Re nel suo corteggiamento..
O almeno è così che potrebbe essere andata…

I Fagiolini

Anonymous 4

Henry VIII
Green groweth the holly,
so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts
blow never so high,

Green groweth the holly.
As the holly groweth green
And never changeth hue,
So I am, and ever hath been,
Unto my lady true.
As the holly groweth green,
With ivy all alone,
When flowerys cannot be seen
And green-wood leaves be gone,
Now unto my lady
Promise to her I make:
From all other only
To her I me betake.
Adieu, mine own lady,
Adieu, my specïal,
Who hath my heart truly,
Be sure, and ever shall.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Verde cresce l’agrifoglio,
così pure l’edera,
sebbene le raffiche invernali
non abbiamo mai colpito così forte,

verde cresce l’agrifoglio.
Come l’agrifoglio cresce verde
e mai cambia colore,
così io, mai son cambiato
verso la mia amata Signora.
Come l’agrifoglio cresce verde
con l’edera, tutto solo,
quando i fiori non ci son più
e le foglie del bosco sono cadute.
Ora innanzi alla mia Signora
una promessa faccio:
fra tutti gli altri,
solo a lei, mi affiderò.
Addio, mia Signora.
Addio mia favorita,
colei che tiene il mio cuore,
ora e per sempre
Henry VIII and Anne Bolena in the Tudors series [Enrico VIII e Anna Bolena nella serie I Tudors]

The Victorian Version

Percy Dearmer takes inspiration from the Renaissance madrigal to modify the text in a saving key but also to celebrate the agricultural cycle and the work of the fields.
Percy Dearmer
prende spunto dal madrigale rinascimentale per modificare il testo in chiave salvifica ma anche per celebrare il ciclo agrario e il lavoro dei campi.

Susan McKeown & Lindsey Horner

Barry&Beth Hall

Percy Dearmer
Green grow’th the holly
So doth the ivy
Though winter blasts blow na’er so high
Green grow’th the holly
Gay are the flowers
Hedgerows and ploughlands
The days grow longer in the sun
Soft fall the showers
Full gold the harvest
Grain for thy labor
With God must work for daily bread
Else, man, thou starvest
Fast fall the shed leaves
Russet and yellow
But resting buds are smug and safe
Where swung the dead leaves
Green grow’th the holly
So doth the ivy
The God of life can never die
Hope! Saith the holly
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Verde cresce l’agrifoglio,
così pure l’edera,
sebbene le raffiche invernali
non abbiamo mai colpito così forte,
verde cresce l’agrifoglio.
Gai sono i fiori
le siepi e i campi arati
i giorni si snodano lenti al sole,
piano cadono le piogge.
L’oro accende il raccolto
del grano per il tuo lavoro,
in Dio si lavora per il pane quotidiano altrimenti, uomo, tu morirai di fame
Presto cadono le foglie
rossicce e gialle
ma i germogli riposano sani e salvi
dove giacciono le foglie morte.
Verde cresce l’agrifoglio,
così pure l’edera
il Dio della Vita non può mai morire
Speranza! Dice l’agrifoglio!


When she came ben she bobbed

On the traditional Scottish air “When she came ben she bobbed” (When She Came Into The Parlour, She Curtseyed) we also find a winking text to an illicit liaison, revisited by Robert Burns for the “Scots Musical Museum” of 1792. However, the version with which it is still sung today is the text version of Lady Nairne who rewrote it in 1810 with the title “The Laird or ‘Cockpen”
Sulla melodia tradizionale scozzese “When she came ben she bobbed” troviamo anche un testo ammiccante a una illecita liaison, rivisitato da Robert Burns per lo “Scots Musical Museum” del 1792.
La versione però con cui viene ancora cantata oggi è la versione testuale di Lady Nairne che la riscrisse nel 1810 con il titolo “The Laird o’ Cockpen


The melody “When she cam ben she bobbed” is considered from Renaissance period, although we find it later transcribed as a tablature for lute in the Balcarres Manuscript (1690, access to the digital archive) It is often performed with the variations attributed to the Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan.
La melodia “When she cam ben she bobbed” è ritenuta d’epoca rinascimentale, anche se la troviamo trascritta in epoca più tarda come tablatura per liuto nel Manoscritto Balcarres (1690 , accesso all’archivio digitale qui)
Viene spesso eseguita con le variazioni attribuite all’arpista irlandese Turlough O’Carolan

To compare with the folk rendition [Si confrontino con la versione folk ]
The Iron Horse 1992

When she came ben she bobbed by Robert Burns

Lord Cockpen often dedicates himself to his favorite pastime: to pester the servants of his mansion.
Lord Cockpen si dedica spesso al suo passatempo preferito: importunare le servette della sua magione.

Ian Bruce in Alloway Tales, 1999 a seguire  O Mally’s Meek.
Ian is a songwriter, but on this CD he paid tribute to the songs of Robert Burns. Already involved in Fred Freeman’s project for the full discography of the Scottish poet.
Ian è  un cantautore, ma in questo cd ha reso omaggio alle canzoni di Robert Burns. Già coinvolto nel progetto di Fred Freeman per l’edizione discografica integrale sul poeta scozzese.

O, when she cam ben (1),
she bobbed (2) fu’ law!
O, when she cam ben,
she bobbed fu’ law!
And when she came ben,
she kiss’d Cockpen,
And syne she deny’d she did it at a’!
And was na Cockpen
right saucy with a’ (3)?
And was na Cockpen
right saucy with a’,
In leaving the dochter o’ a lord (4),
And kissin a collier (5) lassie an’ a’?
‘ O, never look down,
my lassie, at a’!
O, never look down,
my lassie, at a’!
Thy lips are as sweet,
and thy figure complete,
As the finest dame
in castle or ha’ .
‘Tho’ thou hast nae silk,
and holland sae sma’,
‘Tho’ thou hast nae silk,
and holland sae sma’,
Thy coat and thy sark
are thy ain handywark,
And Lady Jean was never sae braw.’ (6)
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Quando entrò in salotto
s’inchinò con referenza,
quando entrò in salotto
s’inchinò con referenza,
e quando entrò in salotto
baciò Cockpen
e poi negò di averlo fatto!
Oh Cockpen non allungava
sempre le mani su tutte?
Cockpen non allungava
sempre le mani su tutte?
Dimenticando la figlia di un Signore
per baciare una servetta?
“Oh non abbassare mai lo sguardo
mia fanciulla
Oh non abbassare mai lo sguardo
mia fanciulla!
Le tue labbra sono così dolci
e la tua figura perfetta,
come la più elegante dama
di un castello o palazzo
Sebbene tu non abbia seta
e fine tela olandese,
sebbene tu non abbia seta
e fine tela olandese,
la tua gonna e camicia
sono il tuo capolavoro
e Lady Jean non è mai così bella!”

English translation here
1) ben= The Parlour
2) bobbed= curtsy, inchinarsi, fare la riverenza
3) or right fawcy= guilty; letteralmente “proprio impertinente con tutte”? Saucy è un termine malizioso con implicazioni sessuali; ho optato per un’espressione più moderna
4) ovvero la moglie Lady Jean
5) collier=coalier che si collega a coaly il carbone (coke): compito delle servette di un tempo era occuparsi di legna e carbone per scaldare e cucinare
6) all nice compliments only aimed at obtaining the sexual favors of the maid, thick enough to buy it (and unfortunately the girl in question had no other possibility than to submit, because if she rebelled going to complain about him to his wife, she was nevertheless dismissed; her only one the possibility was to never be alone in the company of the Lord or to give himself quickly to escape)
tutti bei complimenti volti solo a ottenere i favori sessuali della fresca fanciulla, scema lei a cascarci (e purtroppo un tempo la fanciulla in questione non aveva altre possibilità che sottomettersi perchè se si ribellava andando a lamentarsi dalla moglie veniva comunque licenziata, l’unica sua possibilità era riuscire a non restare mai da sola in compagnia del Signorotto o di darsi velocemente alla fuga)


Three Ravens (Tre Corvi)

Child ballad #26

In the traditional ballad (by anonymous author, contended between the English and the Scots), three or two crows/ravens observe the corpse of a knight and decide that it could be their breakfast!
Both versions were translated in the nineteenth century (or more recently) between Scandinavia, Germany and Russia.
Nella ballata tradizionale di autore anonimo (contesa come paternità tra inglesi e scozzesi), tre o due corvi osservano il cadavere di un cavaliere e decidono che potrebbe essere la loro colazione!
Entrambe le versioni sono state tradotte nell’ottocento o più recentemente tra Scandinavia, Germania e Russia.

Twa Corbies (scottish version)
Three Craws (nursery rhyme)
Three Ravens (english version)

English version: THREE RAVENS

Nella versione inglese i corvi sono in genere tre, accanto al cadavere del cavaliere giacciono i suoi fedeli cani e falchi, e una donna-cerva lo seppellisce. Vernon Chatman in “The three ravens explicated“, 1963 ipotizza che la donna-cervo sia una sorta di donna-centauro e che l’origine della ballata sia irlandese (o quanto meno che la ballata sia derivata da una versione irlandese) (vedi anche in htm): egli ipotizza che il cavaliere appartenga al Clan del Cervo Rosso e che la donna-cervo sia lo spirito-guardiano in forma animale ma anche di fanciulla. Il riferimento però va anche alla corrigan del folklore bretone, la fata-cerva del Greenwood ovvero il bosco sacro che si pettina i capelli d’oro accanto ad una fonte in attesa del cacciatore che la sposerà (e per certi aspetti simile alle sirene) continua
Così i tre corvi sono il simbolo della dea Morrigan la triplice dea della morte che aleggia sui campi di battaglia. continua

Henry Matthew Brock ‘The Three Ravens’

Music by Thomas Ravenscroft (1611) in “Melismata Mvsicall Phansies. Fitting the Covrt, Citie, and Covntrey Hvmovrs. To 3, 4, and 5 Voyces
Child ballad #26, version A.
Da ascoltare nella sua probabile esecuzione originale in epoca Tudor nelle splendide esecuzioni dei contro-tenori

Henry de Rouville

Alfred Deller

Andreas Scholl

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
downe a downe, hay downe, a downe,
They were as black as they might be.
with a downe, (downe, downe)
Then one of them said to his mate,
Where shall we now our breakfast take? With a downe, derrie, derrie, downe, downe
Down in yonder dear green field,
There lies a Knight slain under his shield,
His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well do they their Master keep,
His hawks they fly so eagerly,
There’s no fowl dare him come nie
Down there comes a fallow doe,
As great with young as she might go
She lifted up his bloody head,
And kissed his wounds that were so red,
She got him up upon her back,
And carried him to earthen lake,
She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere even-song time.
God send every gentleman,
Such hawks, such hounds, and such a Leman
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
C’erano tre corvi appollaiati sull’albero
sconsolato e depresso (1)
erano neri come devono essere
assolutamente sconsolato
allora uno di loro disse ai compagni,
“Dove andremo per colazione?”
With a downe, derrie, derrie, downe, downe
Laggiù in quel bel campo verde
sotto allo scudo giace un cavaliere ucciso
i suoi cani gli giacciono ai piedi
e vegliano il loro padrone
I suoi falchi volano con foga
nessun alto uccello osa avvicinarsi
giunge là una cerva maculata (2) in stato avanzato di gravidanza
Gli alzò la testa insanguinata
e baciò le sue ferite che erano così rosse
poi lo prese sulla sua schiena
e lo portò nella fossa (3)
Lo seppellì avanti l’ora prima (4),
ed era morta anche lei all’ora di compieta
che Dio mandi a ogni gentiluomo
tali falchi, cani e una tale amante (5)

1)  Vernon Chatman (nella sua opera già citata) propende come traduzione per una frase in senso compiuto: We find in the Oxford Universal Dictionary (1955) that ‘down’ can be used as an adverb either attributively or by ellipsis of some participial word in the sense of “dejected.”” Also, we find that ‘a’ can be used as a preposition as in ‘a live’ or as an adjective in the sense of “all.” Further, we find that ‘hay’ can be used as an interjection in the sense of “thou hast (it)” and that it occurs in the phrase ‘to make hay’ this phrase meaning “to make confusion.” Thus, the sense of line two is something like the following: 1) Dejected all dejected, thou hast dejection [thou art dejected?], thou hast dejection; or 2) Dejected all dejected, confused and dejected, confused and dejected.
Relative to line four we find in the Oxford Universal Dictionary that ‘with’ can be used to form adverb phrases denoting “to the fullest extent.” Thus, the sense of the fourth line is something like the following: Utterly (completely) dejected. Line seven presents the gravest difficulty; however, it can be surmounted. The problem here centers upon ‘derrie.’ Checking this time with Encyclopaedia Britannica (1956) we find that Londonderry was once named ‘Derry.’ Derry is an appropriate locale for the scene depicted in “The Three Ravens:” the Scandinavians plundered the city, and it is said to have been burned down at least seven times before 1200; it thus is a site of many battles. Line seven now “means” something like the following: Utterly dejected in Derry, in Derry, dejected, dejected.
2) letteralmente cerbiatta a maggese ma anche daino dal manto maculato.
3) lago di creta o lago asciutto o terra molle ossia un corpo d’acqua alimentato solo dalla pioggia, richiama la pozzanghera sta per indicare la fossa in cui il cavaliere sarà seppellito
4) suddivisione del tempo secondo le ore canoniche stabilite dalla chiesa cristiana per la preghiera comune (liturgia delle ore)
Mattutino: prima dell’alba
Lodi: all’alba
Prima: ore 6:00
Terza: ore 9:00
Sesta: ore 12:00
Nona: ore 15:00
Vespri: tramonto
Compieta: prima di coricarsi
5) termine arcaico per amante

Loreena McKennitt live arpa e voce nei suoi primi concerti (con il testo standard)

Cecile Corbel in Songbook Volume 1 che ha invece (come suo solito) modificato la struttura della ballata introducendo un ritornello

Down-a-down, hey! down
They were as black as they might be
Down-a-down, hey! down
With a down derry derry
Down-a-down, hey! down
There were three ravens sat on a tree,
Down-a-down, hey! down
With a down derry derry down
The one of them said to his mate,
“Where shall we our breakefast take?”/”Down in a yonder green field,/There lies a knight slain under his shield.
His hounds they lie down at his feet,/So well they can their master keep./His hawks they fly so eagerly,/There’s no fowl dare him to come nigh.”
Down there comes a fallow doe
As great with young as she might goe.
She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere even-song time.
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Down-a-down, hey! down
Erano neri come devono essere
Down-a-down, hey! down
With a down derry derry
Down-a-down, hey!   down
C’erano tre corvi appollaiati sull’albero
Down-a-down, hey! down
With a down derry derry down
Uno di loro disse ai compagni,
“Dove andremo per colazione?”
“Laggiù in quel bel campo verde
sotto allo scudo giace un cavaliere ucciso
I suoi segugi gli stanno ai piedi
e vegliano il loro padrone
I suoi falchi volano con foga
e nessun alto uccello osa avvicinarsi
Giunge là una cerva maculata in stato avanzato di gravidanza.
Lo seppellì avanti l’ora prima
ed era morta anche lei nel tempo di una canzone

Malinky in 3 Ravens, 2002

Three ravens sat upon a tree
Hey doun hey derrie day
Three ravens sat upon a tree
Hey doun
Three ravens sat upon a tree
And they were black as black could be
And sing la do an la do a day
The middle ane said tae his mate
“Oh where shall we our dinner get?”
“Well, it’s doun intae yon grass green field/
There lies a knight that’s newly killed”
And his horse is standing at his side
And thinks he might get up and ride
And his hounds are lying at his feet
And they lick his wounds sae sore and deep
There came a lady full of woe
As big wi’ child as she could go
And she’s stretched hersel’ doon at his side
And for the love of him she’s died
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Tre corvi appollaiati sull’albero
Hey doun hey derrie day
Tre corvi appollaiati sull’albero
Hey doun
Tre corvi appollaiati sull’albero
neri proprio come devono essere
e canta la do an la do a day
quello in mezzo disse ai suoi compagni,
“Dove andremo per colazione?”
“Beh laggiù in quel bel campo verde
giace un cavaliere che è stato appena ucciso”
Il suo cavallo gli sta al fianco
e pensa che dovrebbe alzarsi e correre
I suoi cani gli giacciono ai piedi
e gli leccano le ferite terribili e così profonde
Giunge là una dama addolorata
in stato avanzato di gravidanza
Si è distesa al suo fianco e per amor suo è morta

Sonne Hagal (neo folk germanico)


Jesous Ahatonhia (Une jeune pucelle -Ma Belle si ton âme)

The Christmas song “Jesous Ahatonhia” generally credited as a traditional Canadian melody is actually an ancient French tune titled “Une jeune pucelle” (= “A young girl”).
This air, popular throughout Europe and by an unspecified origin, was assiociated with two lyrics, the first one “Une vierge pucelle”, a noël, the other “Ma belle si ton âme”, a love song. In the origin it was a dance music classified in the Renaissance scores as “Alemana”, “Almande”, or “Almagne”.
[La melodia del canto natalizio Jesous Ahatonhia accreditata in genere come melodia tradizionale canadese è in realtà un’antica aria francese  che nell’ambito della musica colta era l’aria di “Une jeune pucelle” (= “Una giovane ragazza”).
Da quest’aria peraltro popolare in tutta Europa e dalle imprecisate origini, ebbero fortuna due versificazioni la prima di tema religioso per l’appunto un noël “Une vierge pucelle”, l’altra di tema amoroso “Ma belle si ton âme”. Le ipotesi più accreditate sono quelle che la ritengono una musica da danza classificata nelle partiture rinascimentali come “Alemana”, “Almande”, o “Almagne” della quale si mostra un esempio.]

In 1576, a collection of 150 monodic chants was published in Paris by Jehan Chardavoine (c.1537-1580) entitled “Le recueil des plus belles et excellentes chansons en forme de voix de ville”. It was the first systematic collection of popular melodies dating back to previous generations, on texts partly due to famous poets of the time. Some of these melodies already enjoyed great fame and were used by famous composers such as Clément Janequin and Eustache Du Caurroy.
Particular luck was given to one of these entitled “Une jeune fillette” (A young girl) whose text referred to the quite frequent custom of noble families of the time to dedicate female daughters to the monastic life. “(transalted from here)
Nel 1576, a Parigi veniva pubblicata una raccolta di 150 canti monodici a cura di Jehan Chardavoine (c.1537-1580) dal titolo: “Le recueil des plus belles et excellentes chansons en forme de voix de ville”. Si trattava della prima raccolta sistematica di melodie popolari risalenti anche a generazioni precedenti, su testi in parte dovuti a celebri poeti dell’epoca. Alcune di queste melodie godevano già di grande notorietà ed erano state utilizzate da compositori celebri come Clément Janequin ed Eustache Du Caurroy. Particolare fortuna toccò a una di queste dal titolo “Une jeune fillette” (Una giovane fanciulla) il cui testo si riferiva all’usanza abbastanza frequente presso le famiglie nobili del tempo di destinare le figlie femmine alla vita monacale. ” (tratto da qui)

In Italian it became “Madre non mi far monaca” more commonly called “La Monica” taking up the French song called Chant de la nonnette (see)
[In italiano diventò “Madre non mi far monaca” più comunemente detta “La Monica” riprendendo il canto francese detto Chant de la nonnette (vedi)]


Jordi Savall


The profane version written and arranged by the French poet Gilles Durant de la Bergerie, is a song that invites young people to enjoy the pleasures of love, song also used in the series The Tudors.
In the video at the piece taken from the film follows the version of The Toronto Consort.
[La versione profana scritta e arrangiata dal poeta francese Gilles Durant de la Bergerie, è un canto che invita i giovani a godere dei piaceri dell’amore, canzone usata anche nella serie The Tudors.Nel video allo spezzone tratto dal film segue la versione de The Toronto Consort. ]

Olivier de Narnaud

Ma Belle si ton âme
se sent on alumer
Decette Douce flame
qui nous force d’amer
Allons coutons ,
Allons sur la verdure
Allons ton dis que dure
nostre jeune primtemps
Avant que la journee
De nostre age qui fuit
Se sent environee
Des ombres de la nuit,
Prenons loysir
De vivre nostre vie
Et sans craindre l’envie
Baisons nous a plaisir.
Du soleil la lumiere
Sur le soir se desteint,
Puis a l’aube premiere
Elle reprend son teint.
Mais nostre jour,
Quant une foys il tombe,
Demeure sous la tombe,
Y faisant long sejour.
Ca, finette affinee
Ca, rompons le destin,
Qui clot nostre journee
Souvent des le matin.
Allons coutons ,
Allons sur la verdure
Allons ton dis que dure
nostre jeune primtemps
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto*
Mia bella se la tua anima
sentisse la luce
di questa dolce fiamma
che ci costringe ad amare!
Adiamo felicemente,
andiamo nei boschi,
andiamo finchè dura
la nostra giovane primavera.
Prima che il giorno
della nostra giovinezza
sia circondato
dalle ombre della notte,
prendiamo il buon tempo
di vivere la vita
e senza paure d’invidia,
baciamoci a piacimento.
La luce del sole
svanisce verso sera,
poi alla prima alba
riprende il suo colore,
ma il nostro giorno
una volta finito
resta nella tomba
per soggiornarvi a lungo.
Così mio caro amore
spezziamo il fato
che farebbe finire la nostra giornata
al giungere del mattino!
Adiamo felicemente,
andiamo nei boschi,
andiamo finchè  dura
la nostra giovane primavera.

*English translation

On the popular side, however, here is the same air in Brittany in a Breton noel titled “Péh trouz zou ar en doar“.
[Sul versante popolare peraltro ecco rispuntare le stessa aria in Bretagna in un noel bretone dal titolo “Péh trouz zou ar en doar”.]