Beethoven Folk Songs:

Friday, November 20, 2020

 

1. MUSIC, LOVE AND WINE 

 

Verse 1: 

O let me Music hear
Night and Day!
Let the voice and let the Lyre 

Dissolve my heart, my spirit’s fire; 

Music and I ask no more,
Night or Day!

 

Verse 2: 

Hence with colder world,
Hence, Adieu!
Give me. Give me but the while, 

The brighter heav’n of Ellen’s smile, 

Love and then I ask no more,
Oh, would you?

 

Verse 3: 

Hence with this world of care
I say too;
Give me but the blissful dream, 

That mingles in the goblet’s gleam, 

Wine and then I ask no more, 

What say you?
 

Verse 4: 

What if we all agree,
What say you?
I will list the Lyre with thee,
And he shall dream of Love like me, 

Brighter than the wine shall be, 

What say you? 

 

CHORUS
Love, Music, wine agree,
True, true, true!
Round then round the glass, the glee, 

And Ellen in our toast shall be!

Music, wine and Love agree,
True, true, true!

  • William Smyth (1765‐1849)

 

2. O HARP OF ERIN 

 

Verse 1: 

O harp of Erin thou art now laid low,
For he the last of all his race is gone:
And now no more the minstrel’s verse shall flow,
That sweetly mingled with thy dulcet tone: 

The hand is cold that with a poet’s fire 

Could sweep in magic change thy sounding wire. 

 

Verse 2:

How lonely were the minstrel’s latter days, 

How of thy string with strains indignant rung;
To desert wilds he pour’d his ancient lays, 

Or to a shepherd boy his legend sung: 

The purple heath of ev’ning was his bed, 

His shelter from the storm a peasant’s shed!
 

Verse 3:

The gale that round his urn its odour flings, 

And waves the flow’s that o’er it wildly wreathe, 

Shall thrill along thy few remaining strings, 

And with a mournful chord his requiem breathe.
The shepherd boy that paus’d his song to hear, 

Shall chant it o’er his grave, and drop a tear.

 

  • David Thomson (flourished c.1812)

3. THE ELFIN FAIRIES 

 

Verse 1: 

We fairy elves in secret dells,
All day contrive our magic spells,
Till sable night o’ercast the sky,
And trough the airy regions fly,
By Cynthia’s light so clear:
Around the earth ere dawn of day,
On high we win our easy way; 

Sometimes the lawns to earth inviting,

On the velvet turf alighting;
So light, so light, So light o’er pliant stalks we fleet,
The blade scarce bends beneath our feet,

But shakes as if for fear. 

REFRAIN
So light, so light,
So light o’er pliant stalks we fleet,
The blade scarce bends beneath our feet, 

But shakes as if for fear.
 

Verse 2:

And if no bus’ness calls from home 

Around the wheeling globe to roam;
We to some flow’ry meadow stray,
And sing and dance the night away, 

Around our Fairy Queen.
Then we our mushroom board prepare, 

The gather’d sweets of flow’rs our fare, 

The dewy nectar round distilling,
All our hairbell goblets filling;
Good night, good night:
Good night we say, then sink to rest 

Upon some lily’s downy breast,
By mortal eyes unseen. 

REFRAIN
Good night, good night:
Good night we say, then sink to rest 

Upon some lily’s downy breast,
By mortal eyes unseen.

 

  • David Thomson (flourished c.1812)

 

 

4. WHAT SHALL I DO TO SHEW HOW MUCH I LOVE HER?
 

Verse 1:

What shall I do to shew how much I love her? 

Thoughts that oppress me, O how can I tell?
Will my soft passion be able to move her? 

Language is wanting, when loving so well. 

Can sighs and tears, in the silence, betoken 

Half the distress this fond bosom must know? 

Or will she melt when a true heart is broken,
Weeping, too late, o’er her lost lover’s woe. 

 

Verse 2:

Is there a grace comes not playful before her?
Is there a virtue, and not in her train?
Is there a swain but delights to adore her? 

Pains she a heart, but it boasts of her chain? 

Could I believe she’d prevent my undoing, 

Life’s gayest fancies the hope should renew;
Or could I think she’d be pleas’d with my ruin, 

Death should persuade her my sorrows are true! 

 

  • Anonymous

 

 

5. HIDE NOT THY ANGUISH 

 

Verse 1:

Hide not thy anguish
Thou must not deceive me, 

Thy fortunes have frown’d, 

And the struggle is o’er; 

Come then the ruin!
For nothing shall grieve me, 

If thou are but left me,
I ask for no more.

 

Verse 2:

Come to my arms,
Thou art dearer than ever! 

But breathe not a whisper 

Of sorrow for me:
Fear shall not reach me, 

Nor misery sever,
Thy Mary is worthy
Of love and of thee. 

 

  • William Smyth (1765‐1849) 

 

 

6. SALLY IN OUR ALLEY 

 

Verse 1:

Of all the girls that are so smart, 

There’s none like pretty Sally!
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley!
There’s not a lady in the land 

That’s half so sweet as Sally, 

She is the darling of my heart
And she lives in our alley.

 

Verse 2:

Of all the days that’s in the week,
I dearly love but one day,
And that’s the day that comes between 

The Saturday and Monday,
For then I’m drest all in my best
To walk abroad with Sally.
She is the darling of my heart
And she lives in our alley.

 

Verse 3:

When Christmas comes about again, 

O, then I shall have money;
I’ll hoard it up, and box it all,
I’ll give it to my honey: 

I would it were ten thousand pound, 

I’d give it all to Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley. 

 

  • Henry Carey (1693?‐1743) 

 

 

7. CONSTANCY 

 

Tho’ cruel fate should bid us part 

As far’s the pole and line,
Her dear idea round my heart 

Would tenderly entwine. 

Tho’ mountains frown, and deserts howl, 

And oceans roll between;
Yet, dearer than my deathless soul,
I still would love my Jean. 

 

  • Robert Burns (1759‐1796) 

 

 

8. THE MILLER OF THE DEE 

 

Verse 1:

There was a jolly miller once,
Lived on the river Dee;
He work’d and sang from morn till night, 

No lark more blythe than he; 

And this the burden of his song 

For ever used to be:
I care for nobody, no not I,
If nobody cares for me! 

 

Verse 2:

A coin or two I've in my purse,

To help a needy friend;

A little I can give the poor,

And still have some to spend.

Though I may fail, yet I rejoice,

Another's good hap to see.

I care for nobody, no, not I,

If nobody cares for me.

 

Verse 3: 

So let us his example take,
And be from malice free;
Let every one his neighbour serve,
As served he’d like to be.
And merrily push the can about,
And drink and sing with glee:
If nobody cares a doit for us,
Why not a doit care we. 

 

  • Anonymous

 

 

9. SUNSET 

 

Verse 1:

The sun upon the Weirdlaw hill,
in Ettrick’s vale is sinking sweet;
the westland wind is hush and still,
the lake lies sleeping at my feet.
Yet not the landscape to mine eyes
bears those bright hues that once it bore; 

tho’ Ev’ning, with her richest dye,
flames o’er the hills on Ettrick’s shore. 

 

Verse 2:

With listless look along the plain,
I see Tweed’s silver current glide,
And coldly mark the holy fane
Of Melrose rise in ruin’d pride.
The quiet lake, the balmy air,
The hill , the stream, the tower, the tree, 

Are they still such as once they were,
Or is the dreary change in me?

 

Verse 3:

Alas, the warp’d and broken board,
How can it bear the painter’s dye?
The harp of strain’d and tuneless chord, 

How to the minstrel’s skill reply?
To aching eyes each landscape lowers, 

To feverish pulse each gale blows chill: 

And Araby’s or Eden’s bowers,
Were barren as this moorland hill.

 

  • Sir Walter Scott (1771‐1832) 

 

 

10. O SWIFTLY GLIDES THE BONNY BOAT
 

Verse 1:

O swiftly glides the bonny boat
Just parted from the shore, 

And to the fisher’s chorus note
Soft moves the dipping oar.
His toils are borne with happy cheer 

And ever may they speed,
That feeble age and helpmate dear 

And tender bairnies feed. 

 

REFRAIN:
We cast our lines in Largo Bay, 

Our nets are floating wide,
Our bonny boat with yielding sway 

Rocks lightly in the tide.
And happy prove our daily lot 

Upon the summer sea,
And blest on land our kindly 

Cot Where all our treasures be.

 

Verse 2:

The mermaid on her rock may sing, 

The witch may weave her charm, 

Nor watersprite nor eldritch thing 

The bonny boat can harm.
It safely bears its scaly store 

Thro many a storm gale,
While joyful shouts rise from the shore, 

Its homeward prow to hail.

 

REFRAIN (see above)

 

  • Joanna Baillie (1762‐1851) 

 

 

11. DERMOT AND SHELAH 

 

Verse 1:

O who sits so sadly, and heaves the fond sigh?
Alas! Cried young Dermot, ’tis only poor I, 

All under the willow, the willow so green. 

My fair one has left me in sorrow to moan, 

So here am I come, just to die alone; 

No longer fond love shall my bosom enslave,
I’m wearing a garland to hang o’er my grave, 

All under the willow, the willow so green. 

 

Verse 2:

The fair one you love is, you tell me, untrue,
And here stands poor Shelah, forsaken, like you, 

All under the willow, the willow so green. 

O take me in sadness to sit by your side, 

Your anguish to share, and your sorrow divide; 

I’ll answer each sigh, and I’ll echo each groan,
And ’tis dismal, you know, to be dying alone, 

All under the willow, the willow so green. 

 

Verse 3:

Then close to each other they sat down to sigh,
Resolving in anguish together to die, 

All under the willow, the willow so green, 

But he was so comely, and she was so fair, 

They somehow forgot all their sorrow and care; 

And, thinking it better a while to delay, 

They put off their dying, to toy and to play, 

All under the willow, the willow so green. 

 

  • T. Toms (dates unknown)

 

 

12. AULD LANG SYNE 

 

Verse 1:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot 

And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 

And auld lang syne! 

 

REFRAIN:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

 

Verse 2:

We twa hae run about the braes,

And pa’d the gowans fine,

But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot

Sin’ auld lang syne.

 

REFRAIN:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

 

Verse 3:

And here’s a hand my trusty friend

And give a hand o’ thine.

We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet

For Auld Lang Syne.

 

REFRAIN:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

  • Robert Burns (1759‐1796) 

© 2019 by Tony Boutté

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