Posts tagged ‘lyrics’

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Cansoneta 7 by Marcabru

Before the season turns green,
I will sing and I have the right!
Rejoice about Love who wants:
me, I have neither song nor complaint.
To a man who acts all courteous,
I don’t wish worse disease,
for he soon dies of starvation and cold
who is in the clutches of Love.

I do not want, nor desire, Love,
so much it knows how to deceive and lie.
For those reason I want to tell you
I never could feel the joy of love.
I wish it so much ill and hate it so,
that the remembrance alone makes me sick.
I was foolish in serving Love
but we have come to part.

For Love used to be gay,
but I will never be so
as one deceived me and betrayed me.
This is why I give up and renounce love.
He is loaded by quite a senseless burden
he who is in Love’s thrall.
Lord god, he was born in an evil hour
who feeds on such madness!

For Love is full of deception:
it changes its mind for money,
and turns the most valiant into despicable people,
for the wicked will have it before them.
And don’t go womanizing
without money, and by toiling!
Love that becomes a commodity:
the Devil may take it!

I’ll tell you how it is with Love:
if you were worth as much as a marquis,
do not dare court
after becoming poor.
It doesn’t matter how much you’ve given and provided:
you will not be considered worth a quarter.
One won’t even give you a thank
after you’ve ran out of money.

And I say to the suitors
who want to dream of love
not to make their desire apparent.
And I say this in their interest
because he is rather miserable
who is too eager to love
for he loves too much
soon turns from bad to worse.

The song is over:
I say no more to Sir Perman;
some, who act as lords of Love
should rather be cheating.
A lover who has himself compared to Bazan,
for Love, acts like a fool.
And let him not cross himself,
who will be deceived by Love!


Date: c1140 (original in Occitan); 2006 (translation in English)

By: Marcabru (fl. 1130-1150)

Translated by: Leonardo Malcovati (19??- )

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Cradle Song by John Phillip

Be still, my sweet sweeting, no longer do cry;
Sing lullaby, lullaby, lullaby baby;
Let dolours be fleeting, I fancy thee I,
To rock and to lull thee I will not delay me.

Lullaby baby, lullaby baby,
Thy nurse will tend thee as duly as may be.

What creature now living would hasten thy woe?
Sing lullaby, lullaby, lullaby baby;
See for thy relieving the time I bestow
To dance and to prance thee as prett’ly as may be.

Lullaby baby, lullaby baby,
Thy nurse will tend thee as duly as may be.

The gods be thy shield and comfort in need;
Sing lullaby, lullaby, lullaby baby;
They give thee good fortune and well for to speed,
And this to desire I will not delay me.

Lullaby baby, lullaby baby,
Thy nurse will tend thee as duly as may be.


Date: 1561

By: John Phillip (fl. 1561)

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Song Against the Sea by Roi Fernandez de Santiago

Whenever I look at the waves
that break below the bluffs,
I feel a pounding of waves
in my heart for the one I loved.
Damn the sea
that makes me grieve!

I never look at the waves
that beat against the shores
without being pounded by waves
in my heart for the one I adored.
Damn the sea
that makes me grieve!

Each time I look at the waves
that crash into the cliffs,
I feel a pounding of waves
in my heart for the one I miss.
Damn the sea
that makes me grieve!


Date: 13th century (original in Galician-Portugese); 1995 (translation in English)

By: Roi Fernandez de Santiago (13th century)

Translated by: Richard Zenith (1956- )

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Advance Australia Fair by Peter Dodds McCormick

Australia’s sons let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in Nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In hist’ry’s page, let ev’ry stage
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

When gallant Cook from Albion sailed,
To trace wide oceans o’er,
True British courage bore him on,
Til he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England’s flag,
The standard of the brave;
“With all her faults we love her still”
“Britannia rules the wave.”
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We’ll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England soil and Fatherland,
Scotia and Erin fair,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Should foreign foe e’er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We’ll rouse to arms like sires of yore,
To guard our native strand;
Britannia then shall surely know,
Though oceans roll between,
Her sons in fair Australia’s land
Still keep their courage green.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.


Date: 1879

By: Peter Dodds McCormick (?1834-1916)

Note: This is the initial version of Australia’s current national anthem. The words were originally written by the composer but have been changed over time to be more in keeping with Australia’s current ideology. The changes have not been attributed. Most Australians only know the first verse.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Since First I Saw Your Face by Thomas Ford

Since first I saw your face I resolv’d
To honour and renown you;
If now I be disdain’d I wish
My heart had never known you.

What I that loved and you that liked,
Shall we begin to wrangle?
No, no, no! my heart is fast
And cannot disentangle.

The Sun, whose beams most glorious are,
Rejecteth no beholder,
And your sweet beauty past compare,
Made my poor eyes the bolder:

Where beauty moves and wit delights,
And signs of kindness bind me,
There, oh there! Where e’er I go
I leave my heart behind me.

If I desire or praise you too much,
That fault you may forgive me;
Or if my hands had strayed but a touch,
Then justly might you leave me.

I asked you leave, you bade me love;
Is now the time to chide me?
No, no, no! I’ll love you still,
What fortune e’er betide me.


Date: 1607

By: Thomas Ford (c1580-1648)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Back Side of Albany by Micah Hawkins

Back side Albany stan’ Lake Champlain,
Little pond half full o’ water;
Plat-te-burg dar too, close ‘pon de main;
Town small—he grow bigger, do’, herearter.

On Lake Champlain Uncle Sam set he boat,
An’ Massa Macdonough, he sail ’em,
While Gineral Macomb make Plat-te-burg he home
We’d de army, whose courage neber fail ’em.

On lebenth day Septem-ber,
In eighteen hun’red and fourteen, Gubbernor Probose an’ he British soj-er.
Come to Plat-te-burg a teaparty courtin’.

An’ he boat come too, arter Uncle Sam boat,
Mass ‘Donough, he look sharp out de winder.
Den Gineral Macomb, (ah! he always at home,)
Cotch fire too, sirs, like a tinder.

Bang! bang! bang! den de cannons ‘gin to roar,
In Plat-te-burg an’ all about dat quarter;
Gubbernor Probose try he ban’ ‘pon de shore,
While he boat take he luck ‘pon de water.

But Massa Macdonough knock he boat in he head;
Break he heart, break he shin, ‘tove he caffin in;
An’ Gineral Macomb start ole Probose home—
To’t me soul den I mus’ die a laffin’.

Probose scare so, he lef’ all behine,
Powder, ball, cannon, tea-pot an’ kittle;
Some say he cotch a cole—trouble in he mine,
‘Cause he tat so much raw an’ cole vittel.

Uncle Sam berry sorry, to be sure, for he pain’.
Wish he miss heself up well an’ hearty,
For Gineral Macomb and Massa ‘Donough home
When he notion for anoder tea-party.

From: Lossing, Benson J. (ed.), Potter’s American Monthly: An Illustrated Magazine of History, Literature, Science and Art, Volume 3, 1874, J. E. Potter and Company: Philadelphia, p. 69.

Date: 1815

By: Micah Hawkins (1777-1825)

Alternative Titles: The Siege of Plattsburg / Backside Albany / Boyne Water

Saturday, 30 July 2016

[Love in Their Little Veins Inspires] by Thomas Shadwell

Hark how the Songsters of the Grove
Sing Anthems to the God of Love.
Hark how each am’rous winged Pair
With Love’s Great Praises fill the Air.

On ev’ry Side the charming Sound
Does from the hollow Woods rebound.

Love in their little Veins inspires
Their chearful Notes, their soft Desires:
While Heat makes Buds or Blossoms spring,
Those pretty Couples love and sing.

Chorus with Flutes:
But Winter puts out their Desire,
And half the Year they want Love’s Fire.

Full Chorus:
But ah how much are our Delights more dear!
For only Human-kind love all the Year.

From: Shadwell, Thomas, The History of Timon of Athens, the Man-Hater, 1736, Printed for W. Feales: London, p. 27.

Date: 1678

By: Thomas Shadwell (c1642-1692)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

I’ve Made This Rhyme Completely Free of Sense by William IX, Duke of Aquitaine

I’ve made this rhyme completely free
of sense—it’s not of you and me,
or youth, or doings he-and-she,
or springtime thoughts.
It came to me while I was sleeping
on my horse.

What planet ruled when I was born?
I’m native here and still feel foreign.
Can’t be contented, or forlorn,
or change myself:
I was the midnight work of freaking
magic elves.

I can’t tell when I wake or sleep
unless the others keep me briefed.
It almost breaks my heart—I’m deeply
plagued by doubts,
and none of them, by Saint Martial,
is worth a mouse.

They say I’ll soon be dropping dead
Fetch that doctor, quick!—I said—
his name has just escaped my head.
No matter who:
he’s bad if I do not get well,
good if I do.

My lady friend I’ve never seen:
I don’t know if she’s cute or plain,
or if she’s kind to me or mean.
Why should I care?—
I don’t let French and Normans stay
the night in here.

My passion’s absolutely strong
but she won’t do me right, or wrong.
Avoiding her I get along
just fine. Forget her:
I’ve others nicer anyway
who please me better.

This verse I’ve made—of what or who
unknown—I’ll send to someone who
will send it on to someone who
is in Anjou,
who might decode it and convey
the key to you.


Date: 11th century (original in Occitan); 2001 (translation in English)

By: William IX, Duke of Aquitaine (1071-1127)

Translated by: Leonard Cottrell (1937-2016)

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Troll by Shane Koyczan

Once upon a time,
You and all your kind lived underneath bridges,
Had ridges for ribs that dropped off into empty chests as if your hearts were all stolen treasures,
As if an excavation crew were hired to dig up and remove the part of you that let you feel.
And while the world above you invented the wheel, you stayed put,
Knowing it would one day need to roll over top of you to get to where it’s going.
You had an endlessly flowing supply line of food.
You began to brood over humanity and made meals of our hope,
As if crushing our spirits would make your mirrors cast better reflections than the ones they gave,
As if the only way you could save yourselves was to make the world ugly so no one would notice you hiding in it.
You learned to knit pain into a kind of camouflage,
Treated hope like a mirage that you could use to lure in your next meal.
You lived off of our fears, as if you could taste what we feel.
And every night, as the moon read bedtime stories to sunlight.
You took darkness as an invite to head out into the world,
You curled your hands into wrecking balls, your breath became squalls, you made rocks rumble, you made land shiver
You made boys and girls pray that someone would deliver them from you
We told them you aren’t real.
Then one day, the world changed, but you all stayed the same.
Just migrated from living underneath bridges to living underneath Information super-highways.
Days and nights became meaningless, each already deepened chest became an abyss that no one would ever find the bottom of.
Concepts like love fell into your gravity,
We turned ourselves into life preservers, hoping to save as many as we could,
But the fathers who stood guarding closet doors and the mothers who secured the floors underneath beds,
All shook their heads not knowing how to deal with you.
You, who crept into our lives with tongues like knives stabbing your words into our skin.
You began to begin uploading yourselves into our homes you had computer screens for eyes, and software for bones.
You turned your hate into stones and hurled them at beauty,
As if you couldn’t bear to see anything other than ugly, anything different.
You had fingernails like flint, and scraped them along decency hoping we would be the ones to all catch fire.
You all had smiles like one-way barbed wire not meant to keep us out,
Meant to keep us in
Voice like a firing pin, you spoke in explosions
It isn’t cute. It isn’t funny.
You’ve talked strangers into death, and laughed.
And as each family learns to graft skin over the wounds you gave them, you hem yourselves into the scar.
You have coaxed the sober back into bars,
Handed out cigars at memorials,
Offered nooses, cliffs, and pills to those who unfortunately found
You before they found help.
You have praised suffering,
Waltzed in between tragedies,
Gracefully dipping misery as if we would somehow be impressed with the dexterity of your animosity.
You have cheered on rape, dashed through police tape as if it were the finish line in a race of who can be awful first.
Even now, you somehow see this as an invitation to turn your keyboards into catapults,
Wondering which of you can be the first to hate this best.
Your loathing, already dressed in riot gear,
Ready to incite rage,
As if each message board is a stage,
Where you recite hostility,
Turning freedom of speech into freedom of cruelty.
We are stuck with you, the same way you are stuck with you.
Your mind is glue, and it keeps malice fastened there like cheap wallpaper.
We were once upon a time told that none of you exist,
We dismissed you as make believe or myth.
Now armed only with resolve, we can no longer afford to tell ourselves that you aren’t real.
We will not let you make your dinners out of the things we feel.


Date: 2014

By: Shane Koyczan (1976- )

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Pastime with Good Company by Henry VIII

Pastime with good company
I love and shall unto I die;
Grudge who list, but none deny,
So God be pleased thus live will I.
For my pastance
Hunt, song, and dance.
My heart is set:
All goodly sport
For my comfort,
Who shall me let?

Youth must have some dalliance,
Of good or illé some pastance;
Company methinks then best
All thoughts and fancies to dejest:
For idleness
Is chief mistress
Of vices all.
Then who can say
But mirth and play
Is best of all?

Company with honesty
Is virtue vices to flee:
Company is good and ill
But every man hath his free will.
The best ensue,
The worst eschew,
My mind shall be:
Virtue to use,
Vice to refuse,
Shall I use me.


Date: c1518

By: Henry VIII (1491-1547)

Alternative Title: The King’s Ballad