Greensleeves

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Greensleeves
There are many versions of the traditional lyrics of Greensleeves as a conventional lover's lament, often varying simply in the syllabic density.

Lyrics[edit]

The first printed version of the song:

Alas my love, ye do me wrong,
to cast me off discourteously:
And I have loved you oh so long
Delighting in thy companie.

Many versions use updated grammar, or a mix. Here is the same verse in a sparser version:

Alas, my love, you do me wrong
To cast me out discourteously,
For I have loved you for so long,
Delighting in your company.

The full lyrics, with partly updated grammar, are listed as follows.

Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously.
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.
Chorus:
Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady greensleeves.


Alas, my love, that you should own
A heart of wanton vanity,
So I must meditate alone
Upon your insincerity.
(Chorus)
Your vows you've broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.
(Chorus)
I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave,
I have both wagered life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.
(Chorus)
If you intend thus to disdain,
It does the more enrapture me,
And even so, I still remain
A lover in captivity.
(Chorus)
My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.
(Chorus)
Thou couldst desire no earthly thing,
but still thou hadst it readily.
Thy music still to play and sing;
And yet thou wouldst not love me.
(Chorus)
Well, I will pray to God on high,
that thou my constancy mayst see,
And that yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me.
(Chorus)
Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
To God I pray to prosper thee,
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me.
(Chorus)

Renaissance Lyrics[edit]

Alas my loue, ye do me wrong,
to cast me off discurteously:
And I haue loued you so long
Delighting in your companie.
Chorus:
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 your hand,
to grant what euer you would craue.
I haue both waged life and land,
your loue and good will for to haue.
(Chorus)
I bought three kerchers to thy head,
that were wrought fine and gallantly:
I kept thee both boord and bed,
Which cost my purse wel fauouredly.
(Chorus)
I bought thee peticotes of the best,
the cloth so fine as might be:
I gaue thee iewels for thy chest,
and all this cost I spent on thee.
(Chorus)
Thy smock of silk, both faire and white,
with gold embrodered gorgeously:
Thy peticote of Sendall right:
and thus I bought thee gladly.
(Chorus)
Thy smock of gold so crimson red,
with pearles bedecked sumptuously:
The like no other lasses had,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me,
(Chorus)
Thy purse and eke thy gay guilt kniues,
thy pincase gallant to the eie:
No better wore the Burgesse wiues,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
(Chorus)
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.
(Chorus)
Thy gown was of the grossie green,
thy sleeues of Satten hanging by:
Which made thee be our haruest Queen,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
(Chorus)
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.
(Chorus)
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.
(Chorus)
My men were clothed all in green,
And they did euer wait on thee:
Al this was gallant to be seen,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
(Chorus)
They set 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.
(Chorus)
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.
(Chorus)
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.
(Chorus)
And who did pay for all this geare,
that thou didst spend when pleased thee?
Euen I that am reiected here,
and thou disdainst to loue me.
(Chorus)
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.
(Chorus)
Greensleeues now farewel adue,
God I pray to prosper thee:
For I am stil thy louer true,
come once againe and loue me.
Chorus:
Greensleeues was all my joy,
Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my heart of gold,
And who but Ladie Greensleeues.
Greensleeves, also used as What Child Is This? (help | file info or download)