Alisoun (Geoff Allan)

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  • NewScore.gif  (Posted 2019-09-11)   CPDL #55319:      Icon_mp3.gif  
Editor: Geoff Allan (submitted 2019-09-11).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 150 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Alisoun
Composer: Geoff Allan
Lyricist: Anon (13th Century English)create page

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularConsort song

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 2019

Description: A setting for SATB of a 13th Century love song (first 3 verses only). Set in a bouncy, jolly style in the Mixolydian mode (Last verse in G major). The words are in 13th century English - you can work out your own pronounciation ! There is a translation into modern English on the cpdl page.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Old_English.png Old English text


Bytuene Mershe ant Averil
When spray biginneth to spring,
The lutel foul hath hire wyl
On hyre lud to syng.
Iche libbe in lovelonginge
For semlokest of alle thynge,
Heo may me blisse bringe,
Icham in hire bandoun.

An hendy hap ichabbe yhent
Ichot from hevene it is me sent,
From alle wymmen my love is lent
Ant lyht on Alisoun.

On heu hire her is fayr ynoh,
Hire browe broune, hire eye blake;
With lossom chere he on me loh;
With middel smal ant wel ymake;
Bote he me wolle to hire take
For to buen hire owen make,
Long to lyven ichulle forsake
Ant feye fallen adoun,

An hendy hap ichabbe yhent
Ichot from hevene it is me sent,
From alle wymmen my love is lent
Ant lyht on Alisoun.

Nihtes when I wende and wake,
Forthi myn wonges waxeth won;
Levedi, al for thine sake
Longing is ylent me on.
In world his non so wyter mon
That al hire bounte telle con;
Hire swyre is whittore than swon,
Ant feyrest may in toune.

An hendy hap ichabbe yhent
Ichot from hevene it is me sent,
From alle wymmen my love is lent
Ant lyht on Alisoun.
 

English (Modern) translation

Between March and April
When the blossom1 begins to appear2
The small birds take pleasure
in singing in their language
I live in love-longing
For the fairest of all things
She is able to bring me bliss
I am in her power

A lovely chance I have received
I know it is sent to me from heaven
From all women my love is removed
And alights on Alison.
 
In color, her hair is sufficiently fair
Her eyebrows are brown, her eyes are black
With a pleasant expression she smiled at me
With a slender and well-formed waist
Unless she wishes to take me [to herself]
As her own mate
I will give up living a long time
And fall down dead.

A lovely chance I have received
I know it is sent to me from heaven
From all women my love is removed
And alights on Alison.
 
At night when I turn and stay awake
As result my cheeks turn pale
Lady, all for your sake
Desire has come upon me
In all the world there isn't so clever a man
That is able to recount all her excellence
Her neck is whiter than the swan's
And she is the fairest maid in town.

A lovely chance I have received
I know it is sent to me from heaven
From all women my love is removed
And alights on Alison.