Music in Shakespearean Tragedy

By F. W. Sternfeld | Go to book overview

Appendix I
'In Youth when I did Love'-- 'I Loathe that I did Love'

The Songs and Sonnets, which included a number of Thomas Lord Vaux's lyrics besides 'I loathe that I did love', were well known to the Elizabethans.1 'I loathe that I did love' survives in six other sources, four of which give the words only, two of them the music. Moreover, its tune accompanies yet another lyric, 'You graves of grisly ghosts'.2 The version sung in Hamlet and the song of the Lemures in Goethe Faust (derived from Shakespeare) are two further variations of Vaux's ballad.

Two musical settings are known of 'I loathe that I did love'. The first of these was written (not printed) in the margin of a copy of the edition of Songs and Sonnets which was printed in 1557. This copy is no longer extant, but the melody had been transcribed from it in the nineteenth century and preserved in Nott's edition of the collection of 1814. The second setting is to be found in British Museum, Additional Manuscript 4900.

George Frederick Nott consulted many sources in preparing his critical edition, including the copy now lost. His musical collaborator was William Crotch who transcribed twelve tunes from this valuable source of the sixteenth century. It must be stressed, however, that the sole authority for this setting at present is Crotch's transcription

____________________
1
Certain lyrics of Thomas Lord Vaux were in great public favour. One of them, 'How can the tree but waste' appeared in numerous editions of another miscellany, the Paradise of Dainty Devices; it has been transmitted in six texts, four of them with music. There is also a lyric by Deloney to be sung to the tune of it. Paradise of Dainty Devices, ed. H. E. Rollins, Cambridge (Mass.), 1927, pp. 72 f. and 236 f. lists the sources in detail. Thomas Deloney, Works, ed. F. A. Mann, Oxford, 1912, p. 405. O. F. Emerson, "'Shakespeare's Sonnetteering'", Studies in Philology, XX ( 1923), 111-136. Music for 'How can the tree' may be found: (1) W. Barley, Book of Tablature, London, 1596; (2) British Museum, Add. MS 24665; (3) Edinburgh, Adv., MS 5.2.14; (4) Cambridge, MS Dd.4.23. (5) Oxford, Christ Church, Mus. MS 984-8.
2
Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions, ed. H. E. Rollins, Cambridge (Mass.), 1926, p. 35.

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