Plorans plorabit (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2003-02-08)  CPDL #04632:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2003-02-08).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 142 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised June 2020 (minor formatting).

General Information

Title: Plorans plorabit
Composer: William Byrd
Source of lyrics: Jeremiah 13:17-18

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: ATTBB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1605 in Gradualia I, no. 28
Description: If the "king and queen" of the text are intended as a contemporary reference (which would accord completely with Byrd's genius for scoring political points through the careful selection of unimpeachable Biblical texts), this piece must have been composed in 1603-5, making it one of the very last of his Latin settings.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Plorans plorabit, et deducet oculus meus lachrimas meas, quia captus est grex Domini.
Dic regi et dominatrici, humiliamini, sedete, quoniam descendit de capite vestro corona gloriae vestrae.

English.png English translation

Weeping [my soul] shall weep, and mine eye shall drop tears, because the flock of our Lord is taken.
Say to the king, and to her that ruleth: Be humbled, sit down: because the crown of your glory is come down from your head.