The Good Pennyworths | Love Lust Longing Loss - an Elizabethan Romp

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Classical: Early Music Classical: Renaissance Moods: Type: Vocal
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Love Lust Longing Loss - an Elizabethan Romp

by The Good Pennyworths

This vocal quartet approaches Elizabethan lute songs, Renaissance ballads and Shakespearean theatre songs with playful, dramatic verve. John Dowland, Thomas Morley, Robert Johnson and other composers. "Engaging for ear, mind and heart..." -LSA Quarterly
Genre: Classical: Early Music
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1. Fine Knacks for Ladies
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1:34 $0.99
2. When From My Love
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1:36 $0.99
3. Say Love
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1:24 $0.99
4. There is a Ladye
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2:23 $0.99
5. Dear, Do Not Your Fair Beauty Wrong
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6. It Was a Lover and His Lass
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7. Barb'ry Ellen
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8. Heigh Ho! For a Husband
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9. Have You Seen But a White Lily Grow
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10. Rest Sweet Nymphs
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11. Bugle Britches
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12. Come Again
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13. Humour Say, What Mak'st Thou Here
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14. Toss the Pot
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
About Our Music
Today, the music world labels the songs we perform “Early Music,” but for people living during the reign of Elizabeth I in England, this was popular music. These songs were performed in private homes, banquet halls, theatres, pubs and on street corners. If a composer were lucky enough, his songs might even be performed at court.

The mainstay of our repertoire is lute songs. Lute songs were published in books of "ayres" with a melody line, lyrics and notated lute accompaniment, some with four-part vocal arrangements. In a lute song, the melody line is always the most important. A madrigal, by comparison, is always written for multiple voice parts and is always sung a cappella (without instrumental accompaniment). It is fully polyphonic and cannot be sung as a solo. With few exceptions, the English composers of the time specialized in one form or the other.

Our repertoire also includes popular ballads of the era. These songs were not published in printed books, but have only been discovered in handwritten manuscript form, sometimes with a lute part notated. It is impossible to know for sure who originated the popular ballads of the day, since they were passed orally from musician to musician. A minstrel in 1600 would copy any new song he heard into his “fake book.” He might add his own bass line or harmony, or write a new lyric to put his own stamp on it. This led to a great number of regional variations, such as the Appalachian versions you’ll hear today, brought by English and Scottish immigrants to the New World.

Theatre songs, i.e. songs written for theatrical productions, are also only found in handwritten manuscripts. Robert Johnson, who composed for Shakespeare’s company, probably collaborated with Shakespeare on some and adapted existing songs for others. (His songs were later appropriated by other playwrights.) Most true “theatre songs” are different from the other forms in that they are more like monologues – no verses, no repeated choruses. They serve the same dramatic purpose as recitatives and arias in opera.

The late Robert Spencer, a 20th century lute song scholar, rescued many English lute songs from oblivion. He believed strongly that to the Renaissance mind, the poetry was most important, the music second, and the singer last. We believe in performing this music with an emphasis on the stories and characters evoked by the lyrics.

—Garald Farnham, Artistic Director

LYRICS & CREDITS

"Fine Knacks for Ladies"

Fine knacks for ladies,
Cheap, choice, brave and new;
Good pennyworths, but money cannot move.
I keep a fair, but for the fair to view;
A beggar may be liberal of love.
Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again;
My trifles come, as treasures from my mind.
It is a precious jewel to be plain,
Sometimes in shell, the Orient’s pearls we find.
Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain.

Within this pack—pins, points, laces and gloves,
And divers toys fitting a country fair,
But in my heart, where duty serves and loves,
Turtles and twins, Court’s brood, a heav’nly pair.
Happy the heart that thinks of no removes.

music & lyrics John Dowland, pub. 1600
Erika Lloyd, Soprano / Alane Marco, Alto
Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Baritone


"When From My Love"

When from my love I looked for love And kind affections due,
Too well I found her vows to prove Most faithless and untrue;
For when I did ask her why, Most sharply did she reply
That she with me did ne’er agree To love but jestingly.

Mark but the subtle policies That female lovers find,
Who love to fix their constancies Like feathers in the wind.
They swear, vow and protest That they love you chiefly best,
Yet by and by they’ll all deny And say ‘twas but in jest.

music John Bartlet, pub. 1606 / lyrics anonymous
Matt Leisy, Soloist
Alane Marco, Soprano / Erika Lloyd, Alto
Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Baritone & Lute


"Say, Love"

Say, Love, if ever thou did’st find
A woman with a constant mind? None but one.
And what should that rare mirror be?
Some goddess or some queen is she;
She, she and only she,
She only queen of love and beauty.

But could thy fiery poison’d dart
At no time touch her spotless heart?
Nor come near?
She is not subject to Love’s bow;
Her eye commands, her heart saith no,
No, no and only no,
One “no” another still doth follow.

How might I that fair wonder know,
That mocks desire with endless “no”?
See the moon? That ever in one change doth grow,
Yet still the same, and she is so;
So, so and only so,
From heav’n her virtues she doth borrow.

To her then yield thy shafts and bow
That can command affections so.
Love is free, So are her thoughts that vanquish thee.
There is no queen of love but she,
She, she and only she,
She only queen of love and beauty.

music & lyrics John Dowland, pub. 1603; written for Queen Elizabeth I
Alane Marco, Soprano / Erika Lloyd, Alto
Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Baritone


"There Is a Ladye"*

There is a Ladye sweet and kind,
Was never face so pleased my mind,
I did but see her passing by
And yet I love her till I die.

Her gesture, motion and her smiles,
Her wit, her voice my heart beguiles,
Beguiles my heart I know not why,
And yet I love her till I die.

Her free behavior, winning looks,
Will make a Lawyer burn his books,
I touched her not, alas not I,
And yet I love her till I die.

Had I her fast betwixt mine arms,
Judge you that think such sports were harms,
Wert any harm? No, no, fie, fie,
For I will love her till I die.

Cupid is winged and doth range
Her country, so my love doth change,
But change she earth or change she sky,
Yet will I love her till I die.

music Thomas Ford, pub. 1607 / lyrics anonymous
Garald Farnham, Soloist & Lute
*Recorded live at East Carolina University, AJ Fletcher Recital Hall, january 2009


"Dear, Do Not Your Fair Beauty Wrong"*

Dear, do not your fair beauty wrong
In thinking still you are too young:
The rose and lily in your cheek
Flourish and no more ripening seek.
Inflaming beams shot from your eye
Do show Love’s Midsummer is nigh;
Your cherry lip, red, soft and sweet
Proclaims such fruit for taste is meet.
Love is still young, a buxom boy,
And younglings are allowed to toy.
Then lose no time, for Love hath wings
And flies away from aged things.

music Robert Johnson ca. 1610 / lyrics anonymous
used by playwright Thomas Mays in his play “The Old Couple” ca. 1636
Lute arrangement Garald Farnham & Patrick O'Brien
Alane Marco, Soloist / Garald Farnham, Lute
*Recorded live at East Carolina University, AJ Fletcher Recital Hall, January 2009


"It Was a Lover and His Lass"

It was a lover and his lass (with a hey, with a ho, and a hey nonny, nonny-no)
That o’er the green corn fields did pass
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing (hey ding a ding a ding),
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Therefore take the present time (with a hey, with a ho, and a hey nonny, nonny-no)
For love is crowned with the prime.
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing (hey ding a ding a ding),
Sweet lovers love the spring.

music Thomas Morley, pub. 1600 / lyrics attrib. 
Wm Shakespeare, used in “As You Like It”
Lute arrangement Garald Farnham & Patrick O'Brien
Erika Lloyd, Soprano / Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Lute


"Barb’ry Ellen"

In Scarlet Town where I was born, There was a fair maid dwelling,
Made every youth cry, “Well-a-day!” Her name was Barb’ry Ellen.

‘Twas in the merry month of May, When the green buds they were swelling,
Sweet William on his deathbed lay, For the love of Barb’ry Ellen.

He sent his servant to the town, To the place where she was dwelling,
“My master bids you come to him, If your name be Barb’ry Ellen.”

Then slowly, slowly got she up, And slowly went she nigh him.
And as she drew the curtains back, “Young man, I think you’re dying.”

“Oh yes, I’m sick, I’m very sick,And I never will be better,
Until I have the love of one, The love of Barb’ry Ellen.”

“Oh ken ye not in yonders town, In the place where you were dwelling,
You gave a health to the ladies all, But you slighted Barb’ry Ellen.”

“Oh yes, I ken, I ken it well, In the place where I was dwelling,
I gave a health to the ladies all, But my love to Barb’ry Ellen.”

Then lightly tripped she down the stair; He trembled like an aspen.
“Tis vain, ‘tis vain, my dear young man, To hone for Barb’ry Ellen.”

He turned his pale face to the wall, For death was in him dwelling.
“Goodbye, kind friends and kinfolk all, Be kind to Barb’ry Ellen.”

As she did pass the wooded fields, She heard his death bell knelling,
And ev’ry stroke hit spoke her name, “Hard-hearted Barb’ry Ellen.”

Her eyes looked east, her eyes looked west, She saw his pale corpse coming,
“Oh bearers, bearers, put him down, That I may look upon him.”

The more she looked, the more she grieved, Until she burst out crying,
“Oh bearers, bearers, take him off, For I am now a-dying.”

“Oh mother dear, go make my bed, Go make it soft and narrow;
Sweet William died for me today. I will die for him tomorrow.”

“Oh father dear, go dig my grave, Go dig it deep and narrow;
Sweet William died for love of me, And I will die for sorrow.”

They buried her in the old church yard, Sweet William’s grave was nigh her,
And from his heart grew a red, red rose, And from her heart a briar.

They grew themselves to the old church wall, ‘Twill they couldn’t grow no higher;
They grew ‘twill they tied a true lover’s knot, The red rose round the briar.

music & lyrics Traditional / variation of "Barbara Allen"
Vocal & Lute arrangements by Garald Farnham
Alane Marco, Soprano / Garald Farnham, Baritone & Lute


"Heigh Ho! For a Husband"

There was a maid the other day, Sighed sore, “God wot!”
“I say all wives might have their way, Young maidens they might not.
Full eighteen years have pass’d, my friend, Since I, poor soul, was born,
And if I chance to die a maid, Apollo is forsworn.”
Heigh-ho! For a husband, Still this was her song:
“I will have a husband, be he old or young!”

An ancient suitor to her came. His beard was almost grey;
Tho’ he was old and she was young, She would no longer stay.
But to her mother went this maid, And told her by and by,
“Oh, I a husband needs must have, Oh mother, hear my cry!”
Heigh-ho! For a husband, Still this was her song:
“I will have a husband, be he old or young!”

“A wedded life, ah! well-a-day. It is a hapless lot!
Young maids may marry, be they gay, Young wives, alas, may not!
A twelve-month is too long to bear This sorry yoke, my friend.
Since wives they may not have their will, ‘Tis best to die a maid!”
Heigh-ho! With a husband, What a life lead I!
Out upon a husband, such a husband.
Fie, fie, fie, oh fie!

music anonymous ca. 1600, pub. John Gamble / lyrics found in the play “Wit & Mirth”
Referred to in Shakespeare's “Much Ado About Nothing”
Vocal arrangement Garald Farnham / Lute arrangement Patrick O'Brien
Erika Lloyd, Soloist & Soprano
Alane Marco, Alto / Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Baritone & Lute


"Have You Seen But a White Lily Grow?"

Have you seen but a white lily grow
Before rude hands had touched it;
Have you marked but the fall of the snow
Before the earth hath smutch’d it?
Have you felt the wool of beaver
Or swan’s down ever?
Or have smelt of the bud of the briar
Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white, o so soft,
O so sweet, so sweet is she.

Do but look on her eyes, they do light
All that Love’s world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright
As Love’s star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead’s smoother
Than words that soothe her
And from her arched brows
Such a grace sheds itself thro’ the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good
Of the elements’ strife.

music attributed to Robert Johnson / lyrics for v.1 & v.2 traditional, v. 3 by Ben Jonson
Lute arrangement Garald Farnham & Patrick O'Brien
Matt Leisy, Soloist / Garald Farnham, Lute


"Rest Sweet Nymphs"

Rest, sweet Nymphs, let golden sleep
Charm your star brighter eyes
Whiles my lute the watch doth keep
With pleasing sympathies.
Lulla lullaby, Lulla lullaby,
Sleep sweetly, sleep sweetly,
Let nothing affright ye,
In calm contentments lie.

Dream fair virgins of delight,
And blest Elizian groves;
Whiles the wand’ring shades of night
Resemble your true loves:
Lulla lullaby, Lulla lullaby,
Your Kisses, your blisses,
Send them by your wishes,
Although they be not nigh.

Thus, dear damsels, I do give
Good night and so am gone.
With your hearts’ desires long live
Still joy, and never moan.
Lulla lullaby, Lulla lullaby,
Hath pleas’d you and eas’d you,
And sweet slumber seiz’d you,
And now to bed I hie.

music Francis Pilkington, pub. 1607 / lyrics anonymous
Erika Lloyd, Soloist / Garald Farnham, Lute


"Bugle Britches"

Oh, she took him by the bridle rein, And she led him to the stable.
“Here’s fodder and hay for your horse, young man, And me to bed if you’re able.”

She took him by the lily-white hand, She led him to the table.
“Here’s drink and meat for us to eat, And me to bed if you’re able.”

She’s up the stairs, her skirts a-flounce, To make the soldier’s bed.
“Come up, come up, my bonny boy, I ween you have been fed.”

She’s pulled off her lily-white gown, She laid it on a table.
“Come bed me quick, my bonny boy, I’m sure that you are able.”

Oh it’s meat and drink for bonny boys And then to bed with lasses,
It’s oats and hay and fodder, too, For horses and for asses.

They had not been a-bed a-long, It was not hours three,
When he did hear the bugle, A-blasting merrily.

“Don’t leave, don’t leave, my bonny boy, The task is not half done.
A soldier ne’er should sheathe his sword Until the battle’s won.”

“I’ll have to sheathe my dagger, My codpiece is withdrawn.
I’ll don my bugle britches, I hear the merry horn.”

“Oh when shall we e’er meet again, And when shall we be wed?
For surely I am all but ruined, And truly would be dead.”

“When mussel shells turn silver bells, Then we will up and marry.
But now I’m bound to London town, Nor can I ever tarry.”

music & lyrics Traditional / variation of the ballad “Trooper & Maid”
Vocal and Lute Arrangements by Garald Farnham
Erika Lloyd and Alane Marco, Soprano / Matt Leisy & Garald Farnham, Baritone
Garald Farnham, Lute


"Come Again"

Come again, sweet love doth now invite
Thy graces that refrain To do me due delight,
To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die
With thee again in sweetest sympathy.

All the day, the sun that lends me shine
By frowns doth cause me pine And feeds me with delay;
Her smiles, my springs that makes my joy to grow,
Her frowns, the winter of my woe.

All the night my sleeps are full of dreams,
My eyes are full of streams, My heart takes no delight
To see the fruits and joys that some do find
And mark the storms are me assign’d.

Gentle Love, draw forth thy wounding dart,
Thou canst not pierce her heart; For I, that to approve
By sighs and tears more hot than are my shafts,
Did tempt, while she for triumph laughs.

music & lyrics John Dowland, pub. 1597
Matt Leisy & Erika Lloyd, Soloists
Erika Lloyd, Soprano / Alane Marco, Alto
Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Baritone & Lute


"Humour Say, What Mak’st Thou Here? - a Dialogue"*

“Humour, say, what mak’st thou here, In the presence of a queen?”
“Princes hold conceit most dear, All conceit in humour seen.”
“Thou art a heavy leaden mood.”
“Humour is invention’s food.”
But never humour yet was true, But that which only pleaseth you.

“O, I am as heavy as earth, Say then who is Humour now?”
“I am now inclined to mirth, Humour I as well as thou.”
“Why, then, ‘tis I am drowned in woe!”
“No, no, wit is cherish’d so.”
But never humour yet was true, But that which only pleaseth you.

“Mirth, then, is drown’d in Sorrow’s brim, O, in sorrow all things sleep.”
“No, no, fool, the lightest things swim. Heavy things sink to the deep.”
“In her presence, all things smile!”
“Humour frolic then awhile.”
But never humour yet was true, But that which only pleaseth you.

music & lyrics John Dowland, pub. 1600 / written for Queen Elizabeth I
Alane Marco, Soloist & Soprano / Erika Lloyd, Alto
Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Soloist & Baritone, Lute
*Recorded live at East Carolina University, AJ Fletcher Recital Hall, January 2009

"Toss the Pot"*

We take no thought, we have no care
For still we spend, and never spare,
Till of all money our purse is bare,
We ever toss the pot.
Toss the pot, toss the pot, Let us be merry
And drink till our cheeks be as red as a cherry.

We drink, carouse with heart most free,
A hearty draught I drink to thee;
Then fill the pot again to me,
And ever toss the pot.
Toss the pot, toss the pot, Let us be merry
And drink till our cheeks be as red as a cherry.

And when our money is all spent,
Then sell our goods, and spend our rent,
Or drink it up with one consent,
And ever toss the pot.
Toss the pot, toss the pot, Let us be merry
And drink till our cheeks be as red as a cherry.

Let us conclude as we began,
And toss the pot from man to man,
And drink as much now as we can,
And ever toss the pot.
Toss the pot, toss the pot, Let us be merry
And drink till our cheeks be as red as a cherry.

music & lyrics attrib. Thomas Ravenscroft, pub. 1614
Vocal arrangements Garald Farnham / Lute arrangement Patrick O'Brien
Alane Marco, Soprano / Erika Lloyd, Alto
Matt Leisy, Tenor / Garald Farnham, Baritone & Lute
*Recorded live at East Carolina University, AJ Fletcher Recital Hall, January 2009

All songs except * recorded at Skyline Studios, New York City, June 2009



Reviews


to write a review

Norma Martin

Good Pennyworths
This is a great album! Lots of fun. The presentation is really lively and engaging. The blend of the voices is great as is the balance with the beautiful lute playing. The repertoire is a nice mix of lively, funny songs with more serious ones. This album shows why early music is so enjoyable.

Andrew Smereck

Buckle up, Early Music lovers!
I'm so glad I got this album. Love! Lust! is a terrific tour de force of passionate Elizabethan music, sung live to an appreciative crowd, and sung in the studio with precision.

This is Elizabethan cabaret. Don't expect to hear bloodless trilling or foot-stomping pub music. These trained musicians know their way around a lute song. The tracks "Fine Knacks For Ladies" and "Say Love" are as lively and coordinated as any Broadway dance numbers. And solos "Have You Seen But a White Lily Grow" and "Rest Sweet Nymphs" showcase fantastic musical chops.

But the best part of this album is that all of these songs sound as alive now as the year they were written, both gutsy and tightly performed. Clearly seasoned live musicians, the Good Pennyworths show their ability to delight a crowd in live tracks like "Dear, Do Not Your Fair Beauty Wrong" and "There is a Ladye". Just try to keep dry eyes during "Barb'ry Ellen". And "Bugle Britches" is as bawdy as anything in Shakespeare. The album's final (drinking) song "Toss the Pot" saves the rousing celebration for last. I can't wait to hear the next one.

Ken Roth

Really Good Pennyworths!
Huzzah! Recommend this album without reservation. The Good Pennyworths choose excellent songs that stir a range of emotions and perform them with enough energy that they sound like they were written yesterday, maintaining nonetheless rewarding levels of nuance and sophistication.

If you’re a committed fan of Elizabethan music you may already have this album. If you’re newer to lute quartet music (as is the reviewer), you’ll appreciate the chance to hear each voice individually and then track it as it blends with the others. If you’re more of a generalist fan who may not know your lute tunings but want to hear more in the energetic but polished vein of Virelai or the Waverly Consort, this is a good disc to acquire.