A poor soul sat sighing (Pelham Humfrey)

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  • (Posted 2018-06-04)  CPDL #49978:         
Editor: Ariel Barton (submitted 2018-06-04).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 69 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Arranged by J. Frederick Bridge and published in his 1890 book Songs from Shakespeare.

General Information

Title: A poor soul sat sighing

Composer: Pelham Humfrey
Lyricist: Traditional

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: T
Genre: SecularFolksong

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: 1890
Description: Traditional English folksong. In Shakespeare's Othello, the words are altered to apply to a female character and alotted to Desdemona.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

A poor soul sat sighing, by a sycamore tree,
Sing willow, willow!
With his hand in his bosom,
his head on his knee:
O willow, willow!
O willow, willow!

He sighed and sobb'd, and after each groane,
I'm dead to all joys since my truelove is gone;
O willow, willow!
O willow, willow!

Come, all ye forsaken, and mourn now with me,
Who speaks of a false love, mine's falser than she.
O willow, willow!
O willow, willow!
O willow, willow!

Original text and translations may be found at The willow song.