Blog de César Salgado

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Thomas Ravenscroft: “There were three ravens sat on a tree” (Valéry Sauvage, renaissance guitar)

The Three Ravens is a beautiful English ballad published in 1611 by Thomas Ravenscroft, but probably much older. Here we can listen to an intabulation by Pascale Boquet, played by Valéry Sauvage. The instrument is a renaissance guitar made by Stephen Murphy.

This is the text as sung by the Hilliard Ensemble (The Singing Club, HMA 1951153, a very good performance), which I set to “modernized” orthography:

There were three rav’ns sat on a tree, down-a-down, hay down-a-down.
There were three rav’ns sat on a tree, with a down.
There were three rav’ns sat on a tree.
They were as black as they might be. With a down, derry, derry, derry, down, down.

The one of them said to his mate, down-a-down, hay down-a-down.
The one of them said to his mate, with a down.
The one of them said to his mate,
Where shall we our breakfast take? With a down, derry, derry, derry, down, down.

Down in yonder green field, down-a-down, hay down-a-down.
Down in yonder green field, with a down.
Down in yonder green field,
There lies a knight slain under his shield. With a down, derry, derry, derry, down, down.

His hounds they lie down at his feet, [simile]
So well they can 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 lift up his bloody hed,
And kissed his wounds that 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.

13 Abril 2009 - Posted by | Folklore, Literature, Music, Poetry, String music, Thomas Ravenscroft, Vocal music

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