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Greensleeves - London Festival Orchestra

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Uploaded on Dec 15, 2010

For David
Greensleeves:
The old song Greensleeves is a traditional English folk song dating back to the sixteenth century. There has been considerable debate regarding the identity of the composer of the lyrics and music or melody of the song Greensleeves. The most popular belief about the identity of the composer relates to the legend that the words and lyrics of the song were written for Anne Boleyn (1502-1536) by King Henry VIII (1491-1547) during their turbulent courtship.

Greensleeves Lyrics

Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously.
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.

Chorus:
Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady greensleeves.

Alas, my love, that you should own
A heart of wanton vanity,
So must I meditate alone
Upon your insincerity.

(Chorus)

Your vows you've broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.

(Chorus)

If you intend thus to disdain,
It does the more enrapture me,
And even so, I still remain
A lover in captivity.

(Chorus)

I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave,
I have both wagered life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.

(Chorus)

Thou couldst desire no earthly thing,
But still thou hadst it readily.
Thy music still to play and sing;
And yet thou wouldst not love me.

(Chorus)

I bought thee kerchiefs for thy head,
That were wrought fine and gallantly;
I kept thee at both board and bed,
Which cost my purse well-favoredly.

(Chorus)

I bought thee petticoats of the best,
The cloth so fine as it might be;
I gave thee jewels for thy chest,
And all this cost I spent on thee.

(Chorus)

Thy smock of silk, both fair and white,
With gold embroidered gorgeously;
Thy petticoat of sendal right,
And these I bought thee gladly.

(Chorus)

My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.

(Chorus)

They set thee up, they took thee down,
They served thee with humility;
Thy foot might not once touch the ground,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.

(Chorus)

'Tis, I will pray to God on high,
That thou my constancy mayst see,
And that yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me.

(Chorus)

Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
To God I pray to prosper thee,
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me.


Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady greensleeves.

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