Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Sigh No More, Ladies" to a New (Old) Tune

Shakespeare, William. "Sigh No More, Ladies." Much Ado About Nothing. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 376-77. Tune: Stözel, Johann Georg. 1744. Oxford American Hymnal. Comp. Carl F. Pfatteicher. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1930. 92.
A year ago, I was called upon to direct a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for a grade school. Perhaps I did something right, because they've asked me to direct Much Ado About Nothing this year.

I told you that to tell you this. Last year, I needed a tune for the lullaby the fairies sing to Titania (for which, q.v.). This year, I needed a tune for "Sigh No More, Ladies." Once again, a little-known hymn fits very well, and I think the entire cast is going to have a lot of fun with it.

Below, you'll find a video with the lyrics and the music; you'll then find a score for each verse below that (click on each image to enlarge it). Finally, you'll find the lyrics, which are very slightly modified from Shakespeare's original words. Enjoy!


Verse One

Verse Two
Sigh No More, Ladies

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.
Men were deceivers ever:
One foot on sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go.
Be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your songs of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more
Of dumps so dull and heavy.
The fraud of men was ever so
Since summer first was leafy.
Then sigh not so, but let them go.
Be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your songs of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2016 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest