Shakespeare songs

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    There are only two composers contemporaneous to Shakespeare whose settings of Shakespeare songs have survived: Robert Johnson and Thomas Morley. I've just made recordings of Shakespeare setting by each of them. They would originally (I think) have been for vocals and lute. I've recorded them on the closest I have to a lute, my "Baroq-ulele" bowlback ukulele (which is really a 4-string soprano lute by another name), tuned as a mandolin.

    I've found arrangements for these pieces on Steven Hendricks' website.

    1) "It Was A Lover And His Lass" (Thomas Morley), from "As You Like It": This is pretty much the stereotypical comedy renaissance song widely parodied -- bonny milkmaids, frolicking crossdressed in forests, and a tag line of "With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino". Blackadder II springs immediately to mind.

    This is a trio arrangement with two high voices and one low. High parts on uke, low on tenor guitar.

    PDF sheet music

    2) "Full Fathom Five" (Robert Johnson), from "The Tempest": A duo arrangement with one high voice, played on uke, and one low, played on waldzither (much the same instrument as a renaissance cittern)

    PDF sheet music

  2. Gelsenbury
    I did not know either of these tunes, so this is a nice introduction. I like the first one especially. That's a very neat production.
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