Monday, May 7, 2012

Songs from As You Like It Set to Folk Tunes

Shakespeare, William. "Under the Greenwood Tree." As You Like It. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 413. Tune: "Go In and Out the Window." American Folk Tune.
Shakespeare, William. "Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind." As You Like It. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 416. Tune: "Loch Lomand." Scottish Folk Tune.


A year ago, I directed a group of grade school children in a production of Much Ado About Nothing. The year before that, I was called upon to direct a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for the same grade school. This year, they asked me to try for the hat trick: they've asked me to direct As You Like It for them.

I told you that to tell you this. Two years ago, I needed a tune for the lullaby the fairies sing to Titania (for which, q.v.). Last year, I found a little-known hymn that fit as a tune for "Sigh No More, Ladies" (for which, q.v.). This year, the production calls for two songs, and folk melodies seemed to be in order. Consequently, I set "Under the Greenwood Tree" to "Go In and Out the Window" and "Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind" to "Loch Lomand." With a little bit of tweaking and a loose dotted rhythm, they work quite well.

I'm offering up these to anyone who may end up in my position—searching for public domain tunes for Shakespearean lyrics. My apologies for the voice—it's not so wide as a church door nor as deep as Adele’s, but ’tis enough—’twill serve.

Below, you'll find two videos with the lyrics and the music (the production values are low, being ruled by practicality and speed rather than by pure aesthetics); you'll then find a score for each song below that (click on each image to enlarge it). Finally, you'll find the lyrics, which are very slightly modified from Shakespeare's. Enjoy!



“Under the Greenwood Tree”

“Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind”
Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
Come hither, O, come hither,
Come hither, O, come hither,
Here shall he see no enemy
But winter and rough weather.
Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, O, come hither,
Come hither, O, come hither,
Here shall he see no enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind.
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho, sing, heigh-ho,
Heigh-ho, sing, heigh-ho
Unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, sing high-ho for the holly!

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember’d not.
Heigh-ho, sing, heigh-ho,
Heigh-ho, sing, heigh-ho
Unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, sing high-ho for the holly!

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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.

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