Thursday, December 2, 2010

Greensleeves

Some might think, when listening to this video, that I have switched from the folk theme I have been employing lately to a hymn theme. Such is not the case. When William Chatterton Dix' hymn "What Child is This" was set to music in the nineteenth century, a tune was chosen, the true home of which is in the medieval English folk tradition. 

To be clear, I do not mind the fact that this tune reminds me of the Christmas season.  The purist in me, however, stands in opposition to its use in the Church.  The Dix song, with this music, is most fittingly sung in the home, rather than in public worship. 


There are many performances of this song, Greensleeves, on youtube, including some beautiful instrumental versions.  I chose this one because it includes the singing of the lyrics.  I have not seen the movie, The Tudors, portions of which form the visual aspect of this video, so I can neither endorse nor comment upon it.  The reason for associating this song with The Tudors, however, is the tradition that Henry VIII wrote the song for Anne Boleyn.  Personally, I cannot buy the notion that Henry was capable of such a song. 


2 comments:

Dave said...

Henry VIII was a very gifted and talented man. Unfortunately, he ultimately let those gifts go to waste.

William Tighe said...

He was a good second-rate musician, rather, more adept at altering tunes and suiting them for his words, than in composing de novo.