The witches' dance from "Macbeth" (Richard Leveridge)

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Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2020-11-15).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 207 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The witches' dance from "Macbeth"
Composer: Richard Leveridge
Lyricist: William Davenant

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

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: Not known

Description: An extract from the music for Davenant's play "Macbeth" adapted from Shakespeare. Boyce attributed this music to Matthew Locke, but Grove's Dictionary says it is "almost certainly" by Leveridge. The music is arranged by Samuel Wesley. In Shakespeare's play "Hecate" is female, but other sections of the score suggest the part was intended to be sung by a man.

External websites: Source on IMSLP

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Let's have a dance upon the heath.
We gain more life by Duncan's death.
Sometimes like brinded cats we shew
having no music but our mew
to which we dance in some old mill,
upon the hopper stone or wheel
to some old saw or bardish rhyme
where still the mill clack does keep time.
Sometimes about a hollow tree
around dance we
and thither the chirping crickets come
and beetles sing in drowsy hum.
Sometimes we dance o'er ferns or furze
to howls of wolves or barks of curs.
Or if with none of these we meet,
we dance to th'echoes of our feet.