There were three ravens (Thomas Ravenscroft)

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  • CPDL #02766:  Network.png
Editors: Greg Lindahl and Bernard Roth (submitted 2001-06-06).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 169 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: There were Three Ravens
Composer: Thomas Ravenscroft

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1611 in Melismata, no. 20

Description:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. There were three ravens sat on a tree,
Down a down hey down hey down.
And they were as black as they might be,
With a down.
Then one of them said to his mate:
"Where shall we our breakfast take?"
With a down derry derry derry down down.

2. Down in yonder greenfield,
There lies a knight slain under his shield;
His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they can their master keep.

3. His hawks they fly so eagerly,
There is no fowl dare come him nigh
But down there comes a fallow doe,
As great with young as she might go.
With a down derry derry derry down down.

4. O she lifts up his bloody head,
And kissed his wounds that were so red.
She got him up upon her back
And carried him to an earthen lake.

5. She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere evensong time.
God send every gentleman
Such hounds, such hawks and such a leman.
 

German.png German translation

Translation by Peter Rottländer

Drei Raben saßen auf einem Baum
sie waren so schwarz wie sie nur sein konnten.
Einer sagte zu seinen Gefährten:
Wo sollen wir unser Frühstück holen?

Drunten auf jenem grünen Feld
liegt ein Ritter erschlagen unter seinem Schild.
Seine Hunde liegen zu seinen Füßen
und bewachen ihren Herrn gut.

Seine Falken fliegen eifrig umher,
so daß kein Vogel zu nahen wagt.
Es kommt eine Hirschkuh vorbei
sie ist so trächtig wie es nur eben geht.

Sie hob sein blutiges Haupt
und küßte in auf seine Wunden so rot.
Sie nahm ihn auf ihren Rücken
und trug ihn zu einer Grube in der Erde.

Sie begrub ihn vor dem Morgenrot
und vor dem Abend war sie selbst tot.
Gott sende jedem Gentleman
solche Falken, solche Hunde und solch eine Geliebte.