Of all the birds that ever I see (Thomas Ravenscroft)

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  • (Posted 2021-03-01)  CPDL #63226:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2021-03-01).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 128 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. Edition prepared from Warren, which appears to include traditional features of performance not recorded in the original.
  • (Posted 1999-03-15)  CPDL #00358:     
Editor: Gordon J. Callon (submitted 1999-03-15).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 131 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General information

Title: Of all the birds that ever I see
Composer: Thomas Ravenscroft

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicings: STB or TTB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1609 in Deuteromelia, no. 7
Description: Described in Deuteromelia as a freemen's song, it was revived and included by Thos. Warren in his 17th collection of catches, canons and glees, pub. 1769 (attributed to Nicholas Freeman, 1667!). The piece was used as a glee in several theatrical productions of the late eighteenth century, which probably explains its appearance in a regimental sing-song on the eve of the Battle of El Hammad (Egypt, 1807).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Of all the birds that ever I see,
the Owl is the fairest in her degree,
For all the day long she sits in a tree,
and when the night comes, away flies she,

Te whit, te who, to whom drinks thou?
Sir knave to thou,
This song is well sung, I make you a vow,
and he is a knave that drinketh now.

Nose, nose, nose,
and who gave mee that jolly red nose?
Cinamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, and cloves,
and that gave thee thy jolly red nose.