Folksongs: The Three Ravens

Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582 - c1635): The three ravens. Alfred Deller, controtenore; Desmond Dupré, liuto.
Non si hanno molte notizie su Ravenscroft, che però fu molto ammirato e stimato dai musicisti suoi contemporanei. Più che per le sue composizioni originali, è noto per un cospicuo numero di raffinati arrangiamenti di melodie tradizionali, qual è appunto The three ravens, che Ravenscroft pubblicò in tre diverse raccolte: Pammelia (1609), Deuteromelia: or The Second part of Musicks melodie (1609) e Melismata (1611).
Il nome di Ravenscroft, superfluo dire, comparirà spesso in questo blog 😉

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
  down-a-down, hay down, hay down,
They were as black as black could be,
  with a down,
And one of them said to his mate:
Where shall we our breakfast take?
  with a-down, derry, derry, derry, down, down.

Down, down in yonder green field,
There lies a knight slain with his shield.
His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they their master keep.

His hawks they fly so eagerly,
There’s no fowl dare him come nie.
Down there comes a fallow doe,
As great with young as she might go.

She lift up his bloody head,
And kissed his wounds that were so red.
She got him up upon her back,
And carried him to earthen lake.

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


Folksongs_Deller