Oxford Book of English Madrigals

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The Oxford Book of English Madrigals
Oxford Book of English Madrigals.jpg
Editor Philip Ledger
Cover artist Jan Brueghel the Elder & Peter Paul Rubens
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Subject Sheet Music - Folk & Traditional
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 403
ISBN 978-0-19-343664-0
Website OUP.com

The Oxford Book of English Madrigals was edited by Philip Ledger, and published in 1978 by the Oxford University Press. It contains words and full music for some 60 of the madrigals and songs of the English Madrigal School.

When selecting works for this book, Ledger decided to represent the major composers of 16th-century English music such as William Byrd and Thomas Morley with several madrigals, alongside individual works by lesser-known composers. Ledger collaborated with Andrew Parker, a musicologist from King's College, Cambridge, who researched texts to the songs and supplemented the collection with annotations and critical commentary.[1]

In 1978, the choral group Pro Cantione Antiqua released a recording, directed by Ledger, of selected songs from this book.[2]


The collection contains the following madrigals:

Composer Madrigal
Thomas Bateson Those sweet delightful lilies
John Bennet All creatures now
John Bennet Weep, O mine eyes
William Byrd Lullaby, my sweet little baby
William Byrd This sweet and merry month of May
William Byrd Though Amaryllis dance
Michael Cavendish Come, gentle swains
Michael East Poor is the life
Michael East Quick, quick, away, dispatch!
Michael East (*No haste, but good!)
John Farmer Fair nymphs, I heard one telling
John Farmer Fair Phyllis I saw
Giles Farnaby Consture my meaning
Orlando Gibbons Ah, dear heart
Orlando Gibbons Dainty fine bird
Orlando Gibbons Oh that the learned poets
Orlando Gibbons The Silver Swan
Orlando Gibbons Trust not too much, fair youth
Orlando Gibbons What is our life?
Thomas Greaves Come away sweet love
George Kirbye See what a maze of error
Thomas Morley April is in my mistress' face
Thomas Morley Fyer, fyer!
Thomas Morley Hard by a crystal fountain
Thomas Morley I love, alas, I love thee
Thomas Morley Leave, alas, this tormenting
Thomas Morley My bonny lass she smileth
Thomas Morley Now is the month of maying
Thomas Morley Sing we and chant it
Thomas Morley Though Philomela lost her love
Thomas Morley Whither away so fast
Robert Ramsey Sleep, fleshly birth
Thomas Tomkins Adieu, ye city-prisoning towers
Thomas Tomkins Music divine
Thomas Tomkins Oh yes, has any found a lad?
Thomas Tomkins See, see the shepherds' queen
Thomas Tomkins Too much I once lamented
Thomas Vautor Mother, I will have a husband
Thomas Vautor Sweet Suffolk owl
John Ward Come sable night
John Ward Out from the vale
Thomas Weelkes As Vesta was
Thomas Weelkes Come, sirrah Jack, ho!
Thomas Weelkes Hark, all ye lovely saints
Thomas Weelkes O care, thou wilt despatch me
Thomas Weelkes (*Hence care, thou art too cruel)
Thomas Weelkes Since Robin Hood
Thomas Weelkes Sing we at pleasure
Thomas Weelkes Strike it up, tabor
Thomas Weelkes Thule, the period of cosmography
Thomas Weelkes (*The Andalusian merchant)
Thomas Weelkes Thus sings my dearest jewel
John Wilbye Adieu, sweet Amaryllis
John Wilbye Draw on, sweet night
John Wilbye Flora gave me fairest flowers
John Wilbye Lady, when I behold
John Wilbye O what shall I do
John Wilbye Sweet honey-sucking bees
John Wilbye (*Yet, sweet, take heed)
John Wilbye Weep, weep, mine eyes

(*) = second parts


  1. ^ Milsom, John (1 October 1983). "Music". Early Music. 11 (4): 545–547. doi:10.1093/earlyj/11.4.545. ISSN 0306-1078. Archived from the original on 30 September 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Henry, Derrick (1983). The Listener's Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Music. (1. Aufl. ed.). New York, N.Y.: Facts on File. p. 132. ISBN 9780871967510. 

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