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Greensleeves History of

DigiTrad:
GREENSLEEVES
GREENSTAMPS
LADY GREENSLEEVES


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ryanc999@aol.com 18 Nov 97 - 01:30 PM
Bruce O. 18 Nov 97 - 01:43 PM
Bruce O. 18 Nov 97 - 01:52 PM
Bruce O. 18 Nov 97 - 02:12 PM
Bert 18 Nov 97 - 03:35 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Nov 97 - 03:40 PM
Bruce O. 18 Nov 97 - 04:42 PM
dulcimer 18 Nov 97 - 05:53 PM
ryanc999 18 Nov 97 - 06:18 PM
ryanc999 18 Nov 97 - 06:20 PM
Bruce O. 18 Nov 97 - 08:20 PM
dulcimer 18 Nov 97 - 09:46 PM
Jerry Friedman 18 Nov 97 - 10:41 PM
Jerry Friedman 18 Nov 97 - 10:51 PM
Bruce O. 19 Nov 97 - 12:03 AM
Bruce O. 19 Nov 97 - 12:04 AM
Jon W. 19 Nov 97 - 10:38 AM
Alice 19 Nov 97 - 10:49 AM
Bo 19 Nov 97 - 11:41 AM
Bruce O. 19 Nov 97 - 01:29 PM
Nonie Rider 19 Nov 97 - 01:37 PM
Jerry Friedman 19 Nov 97 - 07:40 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 19 Nov 97 - 07:58 PM
dulcimer 19 Nov 97 - 09:56 PM
JMike 19 Nov 97 - 10:26 PM
22 Nov 97 - 04:11 PM
22 Nov 97 - 04:46 PM
Frank Phillips 22 Nov 97 - 07:50 PM
JMike 24 Nov 97 - 05:32 PM
GUEST 22 Feb 01 - 04:53 PM
GUEST 11 Mar 02 - 04:20 PM
IanC 10 May 02 - 09:12 AM
Uncle_DaveO 10 May 02 - 12:09 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 May 02 - 12:10 PM
IanC 13 May 02 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,sduff@mac.com 20 Oct 02 - 12:53 AM
pavane 20 Oct 02 - 04:00 AM
DMcG 20 Oct 02 - 05:05 AM
pavane 20 Oct 02 - 12:37 PM
mariamaroo 07 Apr 03 - 06:52 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Apr 03 - 07:30 PM
Melani 07 Apr 03 - 10:14 PM
masato sakurai 07 Apr 03 - 11:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM
Gurney 08 Apr 03 - 06:28 AM
Dave Bryant 08 Apr 03 - 07:35 AM
masato sakurai 09 Apr 03 - 02:40 AM
GUEST,Elle 12 Jul 08 - 10:29 PM
kendall 13 Jul 08 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 13 Jul 08 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 13 Jul 08 - 06:58 AM
Gurney 13 Jul 08 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 14 Jul 08 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 14 Jul 08 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 14 Jul 08 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 14 Jul 08 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,Cms 01 Nov 10 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,sims2-3girlalot 01 Apr 11 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,sims2-3girlalot 01 Apr 11 - 05:47 PM
LadyJean 01 Apr 11 - 06:37 PM
meself 01 Apr 11 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Apr 11 - 01:15 AM
meself 02 Apr 11 - 01:35 AM
Manitas_at_home 02 Apr 11 - 04:05 AM
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Subject: Greensleeves History of
From: ryanc999@aol.com
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 01:30 PM

I know that Greensleeves was a 16th century courting song, but does it allude to any historical figures?


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 01:43 PM

No. For earliest text and notes see H. E. Rollins' edition of 'A Handfull of Pleasant Delights'. This was a Dover reprint, but I don't know if it's still available. It is a forsaken lovers complaint to the lady that forsook him, and it gets pretty dreary if you go much beyond the 3 verses usually printed.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 01:52 PM

I shouldn't have said 'earliest text', but 'only text'. I have never seen a traditional text of the song, and the song has nothing to do with Christmass. The tune has been collected traditionally. Somewhat surprisingly the song was considered to be a lost one from about 1625 to nearly 1800, when the text in 'A Handfull of Pleasant Delights' was rediscovered.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 02:12 PM

P.S. The version in DT only has half of the verses.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bert
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 03:35 PM

It is often attributed to Henry the Eighth. But that is most likely an urban legend.

This folklore is fun stuff isn't it?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 03:40 PM

The song has nothing to do with Christmas; the tune was been used for What Child is This? (as well as literally hundreds of other songs, sacred and profane). Most older (18th and 19th century references which give "Which Nobody Can Deny" as the air to a song are referring to the tune of Greensleeves.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 04:42 PM

The song was entered as a broadside ballad in the Stationers' Register as "A newe northern Dittye of ye Ladye Greene Sleves" on Sept. 3, 1580. Now earlier mention of "Greensleeves" has ever been found. Henry VIII had been dead over 25 years by this this date.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: dulcimer
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 05:53 PM

Are we going to get the other verses Bruce O.?


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: ryanc999
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 06:18 PM

thanks for all the responses. The lyric I found was enough for me. I don't think I could handle twice the amount. Three or four verses really do it.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: ryanc999
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 06:20 PM

Yes Bert This is fun.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 08:20 PM

dulcimer, get the book I mentioned. I don't want to type up a long song I consider a terrible one. I can give you all six of the tune versions in C. M. Simpson's 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music', 1966, in ABC if you want them. That I've already done.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: dulcimer
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 09:46 PM

Bruce O.--You've peaked my curiousity about the missing verses. I live in a town with a poor public library for getting books, and bookstores not much better. Is there any site on the web that might have these missing "terrible" lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 10:41 PM

Won't your public library even order books for you on interlibrary loan? I sure use that feature here in Espanola, N. M. (pop < 10,000).


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 18 Nov 97 - 10:51 PM

Also, was the tune lost, or just the words? The tune (as I'm sure you don't need me to tell you, Bruce) was used in John Gay's "Beggar's Opera" (1727), which I doubt is what you meant by "almost 1800".


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 12:03 AM

The tune was continuously popular. The song was rediscovered about 1800. See C. M. Simpson's 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music' for the many songs and ballads of the 17th century that used the tune.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREENSLEEVES
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 12:04 AM

Well here it is. My fame is now assured. I will be forever know as the one that contributed the worst song to the DT. I forgot how to indent in HTML. Indent even numbered lines 2 letter spaces and the chorus 4.

A new Courtly Sonet, of the Lady Green
sleeues. To the new tune of Greensleeues.

Greensleeues was all my ioy,
Greensleeues was my delight:
Greenslues was my heart of gold,
And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

Alas my loue, ye do me wrong,
to cast me off discurteously:
And I haue loued you so long,
Delighting in your companie.
Greensleeues was all my ioy,
Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my heart of gold,
And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

I haue been readie at our hand,
to grant what euer you wold crave.
I haue both waged life and land.
your loue and good will for to haue.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

I bought thee kerchers to thy head,
that were wrought fine and gallantly:
I kept thee both a boord and bed, [wow! lewd!]
Which cost my purse wel fauouredly,
Greensleeues was al my ioie, &c.

I bought thee peticotes of the best,
the cloth so fine as fine might be:
I gaue thee jewels for thy chest,
and all this cost I spent on thee.
Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy smock of silk, both faire and white,
with gold embrodered gorgeously:
Thy peticote of Sendall right:
and thus I bought thee gladly.
Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy girdle of gold so red,
with pearle bedecked sumptuously:
The like no other lasses had,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me,
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy purse and eke thy gay guilt kniues,
thy pincaase gallant to thy eie:
No better wore the Burgesse wiues,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy crimson stockings all of silk,
with golde all wrought aboue the knee,
Thy pumps as white as was the milk,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy gown was of the grossie green,
thy sleuees of Satten hanging by:
Which made thee be our haruest Queen,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy garters fringed with the golde,
And siluer aglets hanging by,
Which made thee blithe for to beholde,
And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My gayest gelding I thee gaue,
To ride where euer liked thee,
No Ladie euer was so braue,
And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My men were clothed all in green,
And they did euer wait on thee:
Al this was gallant to be seen,
and yet thous wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

They wet thee vp, they took thee downe,
they serued thee with humilitie,
Thy foote might not once touch the ground,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

For euerie morning when thou rose,
I sent thee dainties orderly:
To cheare thy stomack from all woes,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thou couldst desire no earthly thing. [,]
But stil thou hadst it readily:
Thy musicke still to play and sing,
And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

And who did pay for all this geare,
that thou didst spend when pleased thee?
Euen I that am rejected here,
and thou disdainst to loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Wel, I wil pray to God on hie,
that thou my constancie maist see:
And that yet once before I die,
thou wilt vouchsafe to loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Greensleeues now farewell adue, [finally, he's run out
God I Pray to prosper thee: [of things to complaint
For I am still thy louer true, [about. At this point we
come once againe and loue me. [can only congratulate her for
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c. [dumping such a whiner.]
Finis


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Jon W.
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 10:38 AM

Do I detect a spiritual connection here with the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love?"

Bruce, don't be so hard on the song. The tune is wonderful as attested to by its longevity and wide dispersal. And the words are no worse than the average blues song - I like to refer to it as "very early English blues." Besides, there are worse words to sing to the tune - "I'll build you a home in the Meadow" from the Hollywood musical "How the West was Won" comes to mind (I believe Debbie Reynolds sang it). But feel free to disagree.

Jon W.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Alice
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 10:49 AM

Bruce, loved your commentary. Hilarious. Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bo
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 11:41 AM

I once had a huge arguement with a lazy English teacher in a local high school who taught Greensleeves simply as "A love song to a prostitute".

Gone was all the romance of a court life, any sense of history and patronage to be replaced by a taudry view of our modern streets.

bo

I enjoyed the thread.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 01:29 PM

Sorry, I was getting rather bleary-eyed when I typed this up last night. (This song does that to me.) Some corrections to the text in verse:

7-pincase
9-sleeues
9-grossie is the reading, but grassie is probably meant
12-thou not thous

Unfortunately these corrections don't improve the song very much.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Nonie Rider
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 01:37 PM

"Prostitute" does seem a little harsh--and misses the whole cultural range of mistresses, courtesans, and fine ladies of society. What blindness!

I will admit, though, that a full enumeration of gifts does sound pretty icky. Especially since either he was previously getting value for money, as it were, or he shoulda stopped giving sooner.

(And having once been involved with someone who insisted on flooding me with constant expensive gifts, over my serious protests, I'm not thrilled with how this song would sound if she WASN'T a lady of leisure either.)

But public laments to one's mistress do always make me grin; they remind me of the lovely scene in the Dunnettesque HEAVEN TREE by Edith Pargeter (Ellis Peters), where a group of gloriously reckless university students keeps interrupting a pompous wooer's paid musicians, filling in the second half of each pleading verse with such unhelpful lyrics as "While my hired minstrels dun you/For love at second-hand!"

--Nonie


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 07:40 PM

There may be a legitimate point to make about the similarity of prostitutes to mistresses, courtesans, and even fine ladies of society. Not all prostitutes walk the streets, and not all court life was romantic. However, calling Lady Greensleeves a prostitute is obviously wrong. If that's what she were, the guy would have nothing to complain about (except exorbitant fees).


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 07:58 PM

Nonetheless, it is possible that Henry VIII wrote it and it was printed after his death. (Most of Shakespeare was printed after he died) It is often stated that Henry VIII was a better than average musician, and if Frederick the Great could write pieces why couldn't he? Before he became a old grouch with the clap Henry was every bit a Renaissance Man.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: dulcimer
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 09:56 PM

Thanks Bruce for keeping this thread going. The words are interesting and the discussion was great.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: JMike
Date: 19 Nov 97 - 10:26 PM

This makes the third or fourth thread recently where Flanders and Swann have come up. (The second or third time I've done it.) There is a wonderful monologue by Michael Flanders on the "At the Drop of a Hat" CD giving a very tongue-in-cheek history of how the "Greensleeves" came to be written (as the first act finale of a musical written by Kyd and Skelton!!!!)

Highly recommended for those who like literate humor.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From:
Date: 22 Nov 97 - 04:11 PM

Let us note that since 'green gown' comes from the missionary method, it is pretty obvious where 'green sleeves' comes from.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From:
Date: 22 Nov 97 - 04:46 PM

In the grass, that is.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Frank Phillips
Date: 22 Nov 97 - 07:50 PM

Incidentally, there is an arrangement by Liona Boyd that "combines the traditional themes with an arrangement for lute by Francis Cutting". The sheet music is on page 8 of the book "Miniatures for Guitar" (to accompany the CD of the same name). I'm not finding it particularly easy to learn but it sure sounds nice when Liona plays it.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: JMike
Date: 24 Nov 97 - 05:32 PM

Cutting's arrangement is in a lot of classical guitar collections, including at least one of Frederick Noad's. (Called "The Renaissance Guitar"). Don't know if it is in print, but it contains some very good arrangements for those looking for some "showoff" guitar pieces.

Odd to think of a song being so old that a "jazzed up" version of it is dated (I think) 1585.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 04:53 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 04:20 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: IanC
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:12 AM

There's now an electronic version of H. E. Rollins' edition of 'A Handfull of Pleasant Delights, so I'm providing a link to it here for future reference.

Greensleeves is described as "A new Courtly Sonet, of the Lady Greensleeues. To the new tune of Greensleeues."

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 May 02 - 12:09 PM

Timjacques:

If one gives credit to the description (as quoted above) that was given in the registration, this was "a newe northern dittye", and thus wouldn't have been written by Henry VIII, dead then those 25 years. Especially if it is alleged to have been written in his youth, as I've read somewhere.

Of course one can take the publisher's description as merely a bit of salesman's puff and write off it's claim of newness.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 May 02 - 12:10 PM

Timjacques:

If one gives credit to the description (as quoted above) that was given in the registration, this was "a newe northern dittye", and thus wouldn't have been written by Henry VIII, dead then those 25 years. Especially if it is alleged to have been written in his youth, as I've read somewhere.

Of course one can take the publisher's description as merely a bit of salesman's puff and write off its claim of newness.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: IanC
Date: 13 May 02 - 04:06 AM

Chances are that's right, particularly as the claim for Henry VIII's authorship was not originally for the song, but for the tune "Greensleeves". This is, in fact, the name of a set of tunes used for the "Bacca Pipes" morris jig and not the song tune.

I have no idea if the claim for authorship of these tunes is correct.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,sduff@mac.com
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 12:53 AM

My understanding of the song has always been this:
- During that time period prostitutes (or whatever you want to call them) for the most part wore some form of green on their arms, to denote their trade perhaps.
- The man who wrote this song had gone to see this prostitute and over the course of time had fallen in love with her.

I hope that this doesn't cloud up the discussion any more.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: pavane
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 04:00 AM

I was always led to believe that the TUNE for the song Greensleeves was a slowed-down version of a widely used tune in jig time, and many other songs were set to variants of the faster tune. See for example Shepherd oh Shepherd (will you come home).

The Morris tune is actually related to the faster tune, but in 4/4


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 05:05 AM

If you had composed a melody and Henry VIII claimed hehad, are you likely to have argued?


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: pavane
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 12:37 PM

I should have said 'O shepherd O shepherd' - that's the name it has in the MIDI files.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: mariamaroo
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 06:52 PM

About the green sleeves, I'm fascinated that the explanation I got from my mother that it was high-ranking, high class women who wore green on their sleeves, and that the poor guy couldn't have her because he was just a lower class peasant. My mother was well known for revisionist history.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 07:30 PM

G'day DMcG (If you are still tracing this thread),

In re the authorship of the Greensleeves tune, the Oxford Companion to Music ... the older, single-volume, Percy Scholes edition ... claims that Greensleeves is just a typical example of the Italian fiddle music that came along with the new-fangled violin - that supplanted and smothered much of British traditional music.

Hmmm... (Scholes' views are always good for starting a stoush!)

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Melani
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 10:14 PM

The version I heard was that Henry VIII wrote the words for Ann Boleyn and set them to a traditional tune. As for "Greensleeves," sleeves were separate from bodices and jerkins at that time, and a pair of sleeves were often a fancy gift.

From the SCA website:

Alas, my love, you've done me dirt,
For you've sewn green sleeves to my purple shirt.
And then you've done me worse than that--
You've made me go out and wear it.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 11:15 PM

William Chappell wrote, in Popular Music of the Olden Time (vol. 1, 1859, pp. 227-8; underline added):
The earliest mention of the ballad of Green Sleeves in the Registers of the Stationers' Company is in September, 1580, when Richard Jones had licensed to him, "A new Northern Dittye of the Lady Greene Sleeves." The date of the entry, however, is not always the date of the ballad; and this had evidently attained some popularity before that time, because on the same day Edward White had a license to print, "A ballad, being the Ladie Greene Sleeves Answere to Donkyn his frende." Also Edward Guilpin in his Skialethia, or a Shadow of Truth<>I>, 1598, says: "Yet like th' olde ballad of the Lord of Lorne,
                      Whose last line in King Harries days was borne."
As the ballad of The Lord of Lorne and the False Steward, which was entered on the 6th October, 1580, was sung to the tune of Green Sleeves, it would appear that Green Sleeves must be a tune of Henry's reign. Copies of The Lord of Lorne are in the Pepys Collection (i. 494), and the Roxburghe (i. 222).
Who originated Henry VIII's authorship?

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM

I wish I knew who started that rumour; he needs a good kicking. Every time someone even mentions Greensleeves, or innocently revives an old thread on the subject, someone invariably trots out that Henry VIII business, for which there is not an atom of evidence, though it has been repeated so often as to have attained the status of unchallengeable received wisdom.

It is a myth. See RE: GREENSLEEVES ... Whence the name?, where Chappell's suggestion is dealt with. The thread otherwise covers quite some ground, and includes, besides a few contributions from people who have bothered to think before posting, a great deal of nonsense, including the frankly bizarre suggestion that the name Greensleeves has some relation or other to the Gaelic word sliabh. It has the advantage of novelty, but is about as likely as the whole song being about Belgian cheese.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 06:28 AM

One way to settle authorship would be to record it commercially. If the lads in black Balacalavas come to collect, you will KNOW that the royalties go to royalty.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 07:35 AM

Henry VIII is usually credited with at least the tune of Pastime with good Company.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 02:40 AM

From David Wulstan, Tudor Music (Dent, 1985, pp. 70-71) [Wulstan doesn't mention 'Greensleeves']:
Henry VIII's prowess as a composer has often been exaggerated, partly because of the romantic view of King Hal espoused by former historians of music, and partly because his subjects were doubtless obliged to be generous in their estimate of the king's abilities. The 'Service' which he is supposed to have composed for his chapel, mentioned by Peacham (1622, p. 99) no longer survives; if works of this kind ever existed, their musical worth is not likely to be much greater than those which survive in the manuscript in question [i.e., King Henry VIII's MS]. Leaving aside a few barely competent parts added to the work of previous composers, the king's musical vocabulary seems to have been decidedly limited. The famous 'Pastime with good company' starts off with exactly the same phrase as many of his other compositions, and in any case the tune seems to have been borrowed from a French theatrical chanson, 'De mon triste et desplaisir'. But although the musical interest of Henry's efforts is small, the words which he and the court composers set are an interesting stmosphere in his household during these years.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,Elle
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 10:29 PM

The lyrics aren't so great. you are correct on that part. But I do love the music. That's why it's my favorite song. Not of lyrics, but of it's tune.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 06:27 AM

It's a nice melody. Pete Seeger hates the lyrics.

Someone said that the real origin of green sleeves is simply this: In those days, people did not carry handkerchiefs, so they wiped their noses on their sleeves.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 06:47 AM

"The thread otherwise covers quite some ground, and includes, besides a few contributions from people who have bothered to think before posting, a great deal of nonsense, including the frankly bizarre suggestion that the name Greensleeves has some relation or other to the Gaelic word sliabh. It has the advantage of novelty, but is about as likely as the whole song being about Belgian cheese."

It isn't??????????????
Another cherished tradition bites the dust.....


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 06:58 AM

"My understanding of the song has always been this:
- During that time period prostitutes (or whatever you want to call them) for the most part wore some form of green on their arms, to denote their trade perhaps."

Where have you seen that? First time I've heard of it. The lowest sort of prostitutes couldn't afford anything, they solicited in the alleys. I think that a poorly dressed woman flinging herself at you in the street screaming 'reasonable rates' is a better indicator than the color green, especially after dark.
Then there were brothels and high-quality prostitutes. They had better advertising methods as well.

"About the green sleeves, I'm fascinated that the explanation I got from my mother that it was high-ranking, high class women who wore green on their sleeves, and that the poor guy couldn't have her because he was just a lower class peasant. My mother was well known for revisionist history."

Then how could he afford to lavish her with gifts like that?


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Gurney
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 06:27 PM

You are a lot of serious people! Why it should matter who wrote a song 400 years ago is beyond me.

My attitude is more summed up by Michael Flanders monologue about it, with Donald Swann's lovely piano in the background.

I do, however, like the idea of sleeves being separate garments. I suppose trouser-legs were, once, which is why we still speak of a 'pair' of trousers.

Must have been draughty.

Just being mischievous.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 12:51 PM

Because some of us like to keep our history close to what can be veirified.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 01:18 PM

The earliest references I recall seeing depicted the "Greensleeves" as "Camp Followers." Now, that could open a brand new "can" of dialogue. Were camp followers simply prostitutes or were they of a higher calling as they served both the physical and emotional needs of soldiers in the field? As I first heard the story, the green color was to keep them from being mistaken for combatants by either side; a commodity too precious to risk, you see.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 02:13 PM

TJ, I read a lot about that sort of thing, first time I've heard of that. Sources, references?
They didn't wear uniforms, so not terribly hard to distinguish between a soldier and a laundry woman with a pack of brats!


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 05:25 PM

Volgadon:

Regretfully, my recollection is from a time nearly half a century ago, when I was a recent high school graduate hanging out in coffee houses. There were some postings in old "Sing Out" magazines of the time and I found some material in library research. I cannot independently recall the source material now. Food for thought, though. Somewhere, there is a researcher who knows all.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,Cms
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 03:12 AM

Many years ago when I was in grade school circa 1955, I became curious enough to look it up in Meriam- Webster. It defined Greensleeves as a grass stain that a male lover would get while propping himself on his elbows and fore arms. It also of course referred the reader to getting a green dress. If one assumes that this is metaphorical for someone who was sex smitten, then it adds some interesting interpretations to the lyrics. Interestingly when I went to look it up in later editions this meaning had vanished, but the term green dress lived on.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,sims2-3girlalot
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 05:45 PM

yes, it's Anne Boleyn's song.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,sims2-3girlalot
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 05:47 PM

yes It was done for Anne Boleyn.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: LadyJean
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:37 PM

Henry VIII wrote songs. We know because we know about the songs, like Passtime With Good Company or Blow Thy Horn Hunter. It's doubtful that one of his songs would be published without his byline.


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: meself
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:43 PM

Well, that settles it, then!


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 01:15 AM

I've said this before, so forgive me.

There is an Irish (and probably a Scottish) Gaelic word 'sliebh' which is pronounced like 'sleeve' and means 'mountain.'

I'm sure this song was written by someone Irish or Scottish, perhaps a harper, and the original title had that Gaelic word in it.

It is no surprise to me that this beautiful melody from an oppressed culture was quickly trashed by being linked to prostitution. "That's what they do."


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: meself
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 01:35 AM

(My post was in response to the one that preceded Lady Jean's ... ).


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Subject: RE: Greensleeves History of
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 04:05 AM

You can say it again but I think Volgadon has definitively proved that it's about Belgian cheese.


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