Nightingale (Michael Gray)

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  • (Posted 2017-01-27)  CPDL #42821:   
Editor: Michael Gray (submitted 2017-01-27).   Score information: Letter (landscape), 9 pages, 269 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC ND
Edition notes: 1st movement of "Needlepoint"

General Information

Title: Nightingale
Composer: Michael Gray
Lyricist: Anon.

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SSA
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: 2014
Description: 1st movement of "Needlepoint"

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

One morning, one morning, one morning in May,
I spied a fair couple, amaking their way
And one was a lady so bright and so fair
The other was a soldier, a young cavalier,

“O where are you goin' my pretty fair maid?
Oh where are you goin', sweet lady?" he said.
“I am goin'” said she “to the banks of the stream,
To see the waters glide, hear the nightingale sing!”

They had not been standing but an hour or two
‘Till out of his satchel a fiddle he drew:
He played her a love song; the valleys did ring;
“Hark now, says the lady, “hear the nightingale sing”.

“O now,” says the soldier, “'tis time to give o'er.”
“Oh no!”, says the lady, “just play one tune more
For I'd rather hear the fiddle or a tug on the string
Then to see the waters glide, hear the nightingale sing.

“Oh now”, says the lady, it’s won’t you marry me?”
“Oh no,” says the soldier, “that never can be:
I've a wife in Low Flanders with children twice three;
And two [wives] and the army's too many for me!

"I'll go home to Flanders and stay there one year.
In place of pure water, I’ll drink wine and beer
And if ever I return, it will be in the spring
When the waters are aglidin' and the nightingale sing."

Come all you fair damsels, take warning from me:
Never place your affections on a soldier so free,
For he’ll love you and leave you without any ring;
To rock your young baby and hear the nightingale sing.