The silver swan (Orlando Gibbons)

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  • (Posted 2024-03-03)  CPDL #79351:   
Editor: Nalei HU (submitted 2024-03-03).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 102 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: 这是译配的中文版:《天鹅绝唱》(请点击上面的’pdf’标志打开文件)

您若有兴趣关注我译配的其他中文歌谱,请点击上面 Editor: 右边的 Nalei HU 链接,或者点击: Chinese

  • (Posted 2020-11-22)  CPDL #61615:       
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2020-11-22).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 205 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Dutch lyrics.
  • (Posted 2020-06-03)  CPDL #59030:     
Editor: Gary D. Cannon (submitted 2020-06-03).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 26 kB   Copyright: CPDL
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  • (Posted 2017-03-05)  CPDL #43425:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-03-05).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 45 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised files uploaded 28/10/17.
  • (Posted 2016-08-28)  CPDL #40934:  Icon_pdf_globe.gif Icon_snd_globe.gif Icon_mp3_globe.gif Icon_ly_ext.png Network.png Part Midis and Mp3s Available
Editor: Monique Rio (submitted 2016-08-28).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 227 kB   Copyright: CC BY 4.0
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  • (Posted 2015-11-10)  CPDL #37483:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2015-11-10).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 55 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: A bar-less edition for mixed voices in F minor.
  • (Posted 2015-01-10)  CPDL #34226:       
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2015-01-10).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 54 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Parts and source available at IMSLP.
  • (Posted 2005-11-26)  CPDL #10240:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and Noteworthy Composer files available.
Editor: Vince M. Brennan (submitted 2005-11-26).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 68 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Copyright (c) 2004 by V. M. Brennan.
  • (Posted 2005-08-30)  CPDL #09223:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2005-08-30).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 25 kB   Copyright: CPDL
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  • (Posted 2004-09-17)  CPDL #07879:  Network.png PDF file available
Editor: Drew Collins (submitted 2004-09-17).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 55 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Page recovered using the WayBackMachine of
  • (Posted 2004-07-03)  CPDL #07478:  Network.png
Editor: Fernando Gómez Jácome (submitted 2004-07-03).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 103 kB   Copyright: Personal
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  • (Posted 2004-02-20)  CPDL #06751:  Network.png
Editor: John D. Smith (submitted 2004-02-20).   Score information: 47.4 x 67 cm, 2 pages, 74 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Scores listed alphabetically by composer. All scores available in Scorch format, some are also available as PDF files.
  • (Posted 2003-11-06)  CPDL #05952:         
Editor: Bettina Blokland (submitted 2003-11-06).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 43 kB   Copyright: Personal
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  • (Posted 2000-10-17)  CPDL #01491:        (Finale 2001)
Editor: Claudio Macchi (submitted 2000-10-17).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 46 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 1999-10-15)  CPDL #00146:        (Finale 1998)
Editor: Carles Gumí (submitted 1999-10-15).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 48 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 1999-02-15)  CPDL #00145:        (Finale 1998)
Editor: Rafael Ornes (submitted 1999-02-15).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 35 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The Silver Swan
Composer: Orlando Gibbons

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1612 in The First Set of Madrigals and Mottets, no. 1
    2nd published: 1847 as Le croisé captif in Recueil des morceaux de musique ancienne, Volume 11, no. 125

External websites:

  • Free choir training aids for this work are available at Choralia.

Original text and translations

English.png English text

The Silver Swan who, living, had no note,
When death approach'd, unlock'd her silent throat.
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, And sung no more:
"Farewell all joys, O death come close mine eyes.
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise."

Portuguese.png Portuguese translation

O cisne prateado que, em vida, não cantou,
Quando a morte se aproximou abriu a sua garganta silenciosa.
Encostando o seu peito contra a margem cheia de juncos,
Assim cantou pela primeira e última vez, e não mais cantou:
"Adeus prazeres; ó morte, vem fechar os meus olhos.
Agora vivem mais gansos que cisnes, mais tolos que sábios."

German.png German translation

Der silberne Schwan, der im Leben kein Lied kannte,
Entfesselte beim Nahen des Todes seine schweigende Kehle,
Lehnte seine Brust an das schilfbewachsene Ufer
Und sang so zum ersten und letzten Mal, und sang nie wieder:
Lebt wohl alle Freuden, o Tod, schließe meine Augen,
Mehr Gänse als Schwäne leben heute, mehr Narren als Weise.

Translation by Peter Rottländer
Dutch.png Dutch translation

De zwaan die nooit een zanger was geweest
Verhief zijn stille stem en gaf de geest.
Uitgeput aan de oever van het meer
zong hij zijn lied voor d'eerst' en laatste keer.
Zilver wordt zwart, de trotse mens wordt grijs,
Meer gans dan zwaan is hij, meer zot dan wijs.
(Dutch lyrics by Willem Verkaik)