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Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601)
- Ayres XX to XXI. -

Back to 'A Book of Ayres' - Ayres XVII to XIX.
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XX. WHAT THEN IS LOVE BUT MOURNING?

Text by Thomas Campion [?]
Music by Philip Rosseter

What then is loue but mourning?
What desire, but a selfe-burning?
Till shee that hates doth loue returne,
Thus will I mourne, thus will I sing,
Come away, come away, my darling.

Beautie is but a blooming,
Youth in his glorie entombing ;
Time hath a while, which none can stay :
Then come away, while thus I sing,
Come away, come away, my darling.

Sommer in winter fadeth ;
Gloomie night heaun'ly light shadeth :
Like to the morne are Venus flowers ;
Such are her howers : then will I sing,
Come away, come away, my darling.

Source: Campion, Thomas. Campion's Works. Percival Vivian, Ed.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909. 10. This copy comes from the Luminarium site created by Anniina Jokinen and is used by permission. http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/

'XX. What then is love but mourning ?' - Notes, Recordings and Comments

The text could be by Thomas Campion but many people now say Philip Rosseter himself wrote his words.

John Jeffreys writes; "The penultimate 'What then is love but mourning ?' is beautifully balanced by the reprise common to all three verses : the poem is among he finest in the book, ... " [* p. 47]

- - - - - - -

There are many recording of this song and here are only a few;

- One CD (pictured below on the left,) is called; A Gardin For Delights - English Lute Songs From the Renaissance by Ian Partridge (tenor) and Konrad Ragossnig (lute). It is yet another CD whose title was inspired by Robert Jones's fifth book. Rosseter's 'IX. When Laura smiles' is also on the CD as well as two songs by Robert Jones ('Love is a bable' and 'There Was a Wily lad') and there are three Thomas Campian songs.

- Another recording of this song (pictured below second from the left,) is on the CD; Boston Camerata's What Then Is Love? - An Elizabethan Songbook Conducted by Joel Cohen. This CD also has a beautiful recording of Robert Jones's air XVI. Sweet Philomel in groves and deserts as well as airs from John Dowland, Francis Pilkington and others. Philip Rosseter's setting Thomas Campion's 'Move now with measured sound' from Hayes' Mask from 1607 is also on this CD. The CD is on Erato Disques, S. A., Paris, France (3984-23417-2) 1998.

- Another recording of this song (pictured below second from the right,) is on the CD; The Sypress Curtain of the Night - Elizabethan & Jacobean Lute Songs by Michael Chance (countertenor) and Christopher Wilson (lute). Rosseter's 'III. No grave for woe' and ' Shall I come if I swim' are also on the CD as well as other works by Thomas Ford, Thomas Campion, Antony Holborne and others.
Chandos Records LTD. 1993, CHAN 0538

- Another recording of this song is by Alfred Deller a pioneer in the return of Shakespearian music from obscurity. I do not know how many times he recorded this short song but it is out on many reisues. One record is called;"
- John Dowland - Thomas Campion - Philip Rosseter by Alfred Deller (tenor), Desmond Dupre (lute)". - HMV C 4 178 [78rpm] Contents: John Dowland - 'Sorrow, sorrow stay' ... Thomas Campion 'It fells on a summer's day' Philip Rosseter What then is love but mourning ? Playing time: 4' 29" + (1'54" + 2' 04") = 8' 27" - It is possible that this 78 is out of print.
- I have it here on the reissue CD; Alfred Deller "O Ravishing Delight" Airs Anglais des XVIIe et XVIIIe siecles - (pictured below on the far right.) on harmonia mundi, France. HMA 190215 - 1969, 1999.

- Another recording of this song is on the LP; Elizabethan Lute Songs and Solos Frank Patterson; (tenor), Robert Spencer, (lute). Philips 6500 282 (LP)

.. and more that I have found on the net are;

- Elizabethan Lute Songs and Solos by Frank Patterson (tenor), Robert Spencer (lute). Whether me do laugh or weep (see below); 2. Sweet, come again; 3. What then is love but mourning?; others by Dowland, Cutting, Campion, Morley. - Philips 6500 282 (LP)

- The Golden Age of English Lute Music by Julian Bream (lute).1. Almaine; others by John Johnson, Cutting, Dowland, Robert Johnson, Morley, Bulman, Batchelar, Holborne. RCA Victor LD 2560 (LP)

- O Mistress Mine A Collection of English Lute Songs by Frederick Urrey (tenor); Ronn McFarlane (lute). -1. If she forsake me; 2. No grave for woe; other works by Dowland, Campion, Morley, etc. - Dorian DOR-90136.

- - - - - - -

The complete texts and accurate midi files of Rosseter's & Campian's A Book of Ayres can now be found on a site created by Harald Lillmeyer at; http://kulturserver-bayern.de/home/harald-lillmeyer Look under Downloads.



XXI. WHETHER MEN DO LAUGH OR WEEP

Whether men do laugh or weep
Whether they do wake or sleep,
Whether they die young or old,
Whether they feel heat or cold,
There is underneath the sun,
Nothing in true earnest done.

All our pride is but a jest,
None are worst, and none are best,
Grief, and joy, and hope, and fear,
Play their pageants everywhere,
Vain opinion all doth sway,
And the world is but a play.

Pow'r above in clouds do sit.
Mocking our poor apish wit,
That so lamely with such state,
Their high glory imitate,
No ill can be felt but pain,
And that happy men disdain.

Source ; From The English School of Lutenist Song-Writers Series - Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601) by Strainer & Bell 1923, revised 1966.

'XXI. Whether men do laugh or weep' - Notes, Recordings and Comments

Line 12 brings to mind William Shakespeare's famous poem (in As You Like It?) starting 'All the world is a stage'. This line is interesting in light of Rosseter's future involvement with the theater. More importantly, it is an intriguing hint that, Rosseter's association with the stage goes back far. - P. T. C.

John Jeffreys writes; "... poem ... among the finest in the book, ... is the final 'Whether men do laugh or weep' which comes as a complete contrast to many of its predecessors and recalls Shakespeare's conclusion of the world. Indeed the poem stands the comparison very well and comes almost as a cheerful epitaph for a wise man." [* p. 47 - 48]

A recording of this song is on the LP; Elizabethan Lute Songs and Solos by Frank Patterson (tenor), Robert Spencer (lute). 2. Sweet, come again; 3. What then is love but mourning? (see above); others by Dowland, Cutting, Campion, Morley. - Philips 6500 282 (LP)

I have this song on a vinyl record back in Canada. I believe it is performed by Julian Bream and maybe P. Peters. Rosseter's 'If she forsake me' is also on the disk. - P. T. C.

The complete texts and accurate midi files of Rosseter's & Campian's A Book of Ayres are now to be found on a site created by Harald Lillmeyer at; http://kulturserver-bayern.de/home/harald-lillmeyer Look under Downloads.


- About recording this song, 'XXI. Whether men do laugh or weep' by myself - Patrick T. Connolly -

I am happy to be able to finally post (on August 19 & 25, 2011) a Philip Rosseter song from his only Booke of Airs on My SoundClick and here.

For 10 years I have had a list of songs to record and at the top has always been 'When Laura Smiles' After years of not being able to do a good recording of Rosseter's 'When Laura Smiles' I found the music to this simple Rosseter Air kicking around. I had worked out the chords on February 2, 1988 when I was living in Vancouver. I did these recordings in the very hot Tokyo Summer of 2010. The hottest summer of my life.

Starting recording on August 10, 2010, I did 6 takes. However on take 1, 2 and 5, I only completed the music one time to sing only the 1st stanza. On take 3 and 6, I finished the second stanza and it was only on take 4 that I did all 3 repeats of the music to be able to finish the whole poem.

This is Take 2 but it did not finish so I added the end of Take 3 to end. I have titled it;
Whether men do (Rosseter 1601 XXI [Tk2

Take 2 - 1 stanza & 6 bars.
Track 4 - Guitar strumming timing - August 10, 2010.
Track 3 - Vocal & guitar - August 10, 2010.
Track 2 - keyboard bass - SynthBass - August 16, 2010.

Take 3 - 2 stanza & - 4 bars.
Track 4 - Guitar strumming timing - August 10, 2010.
Track 3 - keyboard bass - Harpsichord - August 16, 2010.
Track 2 - keyboard guide vocal - Harp - August 18, 2010.
Track 6/7 Vocal & guitar - August 25, 2010.


I will probably post Take 3 (with Take 1 tacked on at the end) and some combination of Take 4 and Take 6 at some later time. I hope also to make a movie of it for YouTube. With this in mind I have taken care to take pictures on the actual days when I did the recordings.

Take 1 - 1 stanza & 4 bars.
Track 4 - Guitar strumming timing - August 10, 2010.
Track 3 - Keyboard Bass - Cello - August 16, 2010.
Track 2 - Keyboard guide vocal - Harpsichord - August 18, 2010.
Track 6/7 Vocal & guitar - August 24, 2010.

Take 4 - 3 stanza.
Track 4 - Guitar strumming timing - August 10, 2010.
Track 3 - Keyboard Bass - ContraBass - August 16, 2010.
Track 2 - Keyboard guide vocal - HaloPad - August 18, 2010.
Track 1 - Vocal - May 18, 2011.

Take 5 - 1 stanza.
Track 4 - Guitar strumming timing - August 10, 2010.
Track 3 - Vocal & guitar - August 13, 2010.
Track 2 - keyboard bass - FingersBass - August 16, 2010.

Take 6 - 2 stanza.
Track 4 - Guitar strumming timing - August 10, 2010.
Track 3 - Keyboard Bass - Pizzicato - August 16, 2010.
Track 2 - Keyboard guide vocal - CleanGuitar - August 18, 2010.
Track 5&6 - Vocal - May 18, 2011.


Back to 'A Book of Ayres' - Ayres XVIII to XIX.

- - - Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601) Introduction. - - -
I. Sweet, come again
II. And would you see my mistress' face

III. No grave for woe
IV. If I urge my kind desires
V. What heart's content
'

VI. Let him that will be free
VII. Reprove not love
VIII. And would you fain the reason know

IX. When Laura smiles

X. Long have mine eyes gaz'd
XI. Though far from joy
XII Shall I come if I swim
XIII. Ay me that love
XIV. Shall then a traitorous kiss
XV. If I hope I pine
XVI. Unless there were consent
XVII. 'If she forsake me
'

XVIII. What is a day
XIX. Kind in unkindness'
.

XX. What then is love but mourning?
XXI. Whether men do laugh or weep



Complied or written by Patrick Thomas Connolly - September, 2003. Updated January 12, 2004. Last updated August 21, 22 & 25 (posted).
All materials are copyright, 2003, by Patrick Thomas Connolly
* 'The Life And Works of Philip Rosseter' by John Jeffreys (1990)
Roberton Publications, The Windmill, Wendover, Aylesbury HP22 6JJ.
Printed in Great Britain by Lavenham Press Ltd.
Back to 'A Book of Ayres' - Ayres XVIII to XIX.
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