Lachrimae Pavan / Flow My Tears (John Dowland)

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    The most famous of all John Dowland's pavans -- and arguably the most famous lute piece of them all -- is the Lachrimae Pavan (also known as "Flow My Tears"). This instrumental setting for four instruments is from Morley's Consort Lessons, 1599 & 1611. Transcribed by Steven Hendricks and available from his SCA dance website.

    Link to PDF sheet music

    "Baroq-ulele" bowlback soprano ukulele/lute
    1915 Luigi Embergher bowlback mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Troubadour Lionheart bouzouki (FCGD)


    The arrangement sits nicely for a quartet of three mandolins and mandocello. Octave mandolin is also fine, but needs to be retuned a tone lower as the bass part goes down to F.

  2. Gelsenbury
    Nice! I'm sure I know this tune, but every setting makes it sound different.
  3. Pasha Alden
    Pasha Alden
    Hi Martin - A rather late response to such an interesting message. I may be horribly mistaken, but there is a song for mandolin and lute, sung by Sting: "Flow my tears" The CD is titled "Songs from the Labyrinth" Beautiful stuff, there dominated by lute, but truly beautiful. I am not sure it is the same song, but it may be.
    Sung by Sting himself.
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Hi Pasha,

    Yes, same tune as the Sting recording. The Lachrimae Pavan was a huge hit in its day. Dowland wrote at least three settings of the tune himself: a solo lute instrumental, a consort version for four lutes and then later added words to make it a song with lute accompaniment. That's the basis for Sting's recording although I don't know how closely he follows the original Dowland vocal setting. My own recording is based on yet another setting, by another famous 16th century composer, Thomas Morley. He arranged Dowland's tune for broken consort, i.e. for mixed bowed, plucked and wind instruments. Lots of info on the tune at Wikipedia here.

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