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A Lover And His Lass

  • (Thomas Morley)

    In springtime, in springtime
    In springtime, the only pretty ringtime
    When the birds do sing
    Hey ding-a-ding-a-ding
    Hey ding-a-ding-a-ding
    Hey ding-a-ding-a-ding
    Sweet lovers love the spring

    It was a lover and his lass
    With a hey and a ho and a hey nonino
    With a hey nonino-nino
    That o'er the green corn-field did pass

    This carol they began that hour
    Of how that life is but a flower

    Between the acres of the rye
    These pretty country folk would lie

    And therefore take the present time
    For love is crowned with the prime

(as sung by The Spinners)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • english  [1967:] William Shakespeare, who in his literary endeavours ignored his own advice and frequently was "a borrower or a lender" of plots, jokes, dialogue and songs, employed a good deal of popular music in his plays. Most often these were familiar catches and contemporary ballads; occasionally a more traditional song appeared. [...] The most popular of these, of course, is Greensleeves (from 'Merry Wives of Windsor'). Another one, almost as popular and a delightful singing tune is this song, composed by Thomas Morley, which is sung by two pages in Act V, Scene III of 'As You Like It'. (Reprint Sing Out 10, 242)

  • english  [1974:] Composed by Thomas Morley a year or so before it appeared in Shakespeare's 'As You Like It', this must be the oldest song we sing of which we know the origin. We learned it at first in order to sing it in a children's television programme. (Notes 'The Spinners at the London Palladium')

  • english  [1974:] A pop song from 1590. (Intro 'The Spinners At the London Palladium')

  • english  [1999:] June is the month for outdoor lust, now as it always has been. The famous song sung by the two pages in 'As You Like It' is a precise description of the sexual habits of the rural working class in early modern England: [see lyrics above]. Everything about this is accurate: they make their way right to the other side of the growing cornfield, away from the invigilating police state of the sixteenth-century village, and there find the privacy they crave. You hardly ever see rye growing in England now, but it is the lovers' crop par excellence, six feet tall by the middle of June, a wall of protective green. 'With a hey and a ho and a hey nonino' sounds innocent but it isn't. 'Nonino' is sixteenth-century for 'a bit of the other' and even 'hey' has a lustful tinge to it. In Shakespeare, the word 'country' is always enriched by the pun it contains. The whole movement of the song, through the fluffy acres of the fields and on into the safe and private lying place, is sexual. It is a hymn to sex as summer heaven. (Adam Nicolson, Perch Hill. A New Life, Robinson, London, p 160 f.)

Quelle: England

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21.01.1999, aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 17.04.2003