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"My Lady Greensleeves" von Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1864

Greensleeves is an old English folk song that has been quoted in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor (1602). This quote indicates that the song was very well known before (mid to late 16th century). The name of the Lady Greensleeves probably refers to the green puff sleeves that were fashionable in Northern England at the time.

\version "2.12.3"

\language "deutsch"

\header {
  tagline = ""

\layout {
  indent = #0

akkorde = \chordmode {
    \set chordChanges = ##t
    s8 a1*6/8:m g a:m e a:m g a1*3/8:m e a1*6/8:m c g a:m e c g a1*3/8:m e a1*6/8:m

global = {
  \tempo 4. = 55
  \time 6/8
  \key a \dorian

melodie = \relative c'' {
  \partial8 a8
  c4 d8 e8. fis16 e8
  d4 h8 g8.( a16) h8
  c4 a8 a8.( gis16) a8
  h4 gis8 e4 a8
  c4 d8 e8. fis16 e8
  d4 h8 g8.( a16) h8
  c8.( h16) a8 gis8.( fis16) gis8
  a4 a8 a4 r8
  g'4.g8.( fis16) e8
  d4 h8 g8.( a16 h8)
  c4( a8) a8.( gis16) a8
  h4 gis8 e4.
  g'4.g8. fis16 e8
  d4 h8 g8.( a16) h8
  c8. h16 a8 gis8.( fis16) gis8
  a4. a4
  \bar "|."

text = \lyricmode {
A -- las, my lo -- ve, you do me wrong,
to cast me off dis -- cour -- teous -- ly.
For I have lo -- ved you well and long,
de -- ligh -- ting in your com -- pa -- ny.
Green -- sleeves was all my joy
Green -- sleeves was my de -- light,
Green -- sleeves was my heart of gold,
and who but my la -- dy Greensleeves.

\score {
    \new ChordNames { \akkorde }
    \new Voice = "Lied" { \melodie }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "Lied" { \text }
\midi {}
\layout {}


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A-[Am]las, my[C]love, you[G]do me[Em]wrong,
To[Am]cast me off dis-[E]courteously.
For[Am]I have[C]loved you[G]well and[Em]long,
De-[Am]lighting[E]in your[Am]company.
[ C]Greensleeves was[G]all my[Em]joy
[Am]Greensleeves was[E]my delight,
[C]Greensleeves was my[G]heart of[Em]gold,
And[Am]who but my[E]lady[Am,]greensleeves.
A-[Am]las, my[C]love, that[G]you should[Em]own
A[Am]heart of wanton[E]vanity,
So[Am]must I[C]medi-[G]tate a-[Em]lone
Up-[Am]on your[E]insin-[Am]cerity.
Your[Am]vows you've[C]broken,[G]like my[Em]heart,
Oh,[Am]why did you so en-[E]rapture me?
Now[Am]I re-[C]main in a[G]world a-[Em]part
But[Am]my heart re-[E]mains in cap-[Am]tivity.
If[Am]you in-[C]tend thus[G]to dis-[Em]dain,
It[Am]does the more en-[E]rapture me,
And[Am]even[C]so, I[G]still re-[Em]main
A[Am]lover[E]in cap-[Am]tivity.
I've [Am] been [C] ready[G]at your[Em]hand,
To[Am]grant whatever[E]you would crave;,
I[Am]have both[C]wagered[G]life and[Em]land,
Your[Am]love and[E]good-will[Am]for to have.
Thou[Am]couldst de-[C]sire no[G]earthly[Em]thing,
But[Am]still thou hadst it[E]readily.
Thy[Am]music[C]still to[G]play and[Em]sing;
And[Am]yet thou[E]wouldst not[Am]love me.
[Am]I bought thee[C]kerchiefs[G]for thy[Em]head,
That[Am]were wrought fine and[E]gallantly;
I[Am]kept thee[C]at both[G]board and[Em]bed,
[Am]Which cost my[E]purse well-[Am]favoredly.
[Am]I bought thee[C]petticoats[G]of the[Em]best,
The[Am]cloth so fine as[E]it might be;
[Am]I gave thee[C]jewels[G]for thy[Em]chest,
And[Am]all this[E]cost I[Am]spent on thee.
Thy[Am]smock of[C]silk, both[G]fair and[Em]white,
With[Am]gold embroidered[E]gorgeously;
Thy[Am]petti-[C]coat of[G]sendal[Em]right,
And[Am]these I[E]bought thee[Am]gladly.
My[Am]men were[C]clothed[G]all in[Em]green,
And[Am]they did ever[E]wait on thee;
All[Am]this was[C]gallant[G]to be[Em]seen,
And[Am]yet thou[E]wouldst not[Am]love me.
They[Am] set thee[C]up, they[G]took thee[Em]down,
They[Am]served thee with hu-[E]mility;
Thy [Am]foot might[C]not once[G]touch the[Em]ground,
And[Am]yet thou[E]wouldst not[Am]love me.
'Tis[Am] I will[C]pray to[G]God on[Em]high,
That[Am]thou my constancy[E]mayst see,
And[Am]that yet[C]once be-[G]fore I[Em]die,
Thou[Am]wilt vouch[E]safe to[Am]love me.
Ah,[Am] Greens-[C]leeves, now[G]farewell,[Em]adieu,
To[Am]God I pray to[E]prosper thee,
For [Am]I am[C]still thy[G]lover[Em]true,
Come[Am]once a-[E]gain and[Am]love me.


[edit | edit source]

There are many variations of this song, including quite simple ones as a solo piece for the guitar. The chords in this version are based on a simple arrangement for the classical guitar. If the piece is too high (or too low), use a capo in the 5th fret. This would transpose the piece into D minor, and it may be easier to sing.

Am = Dm; C = F; D = G; F = Bb; E = A

Those who shy away from the Bb major can also transpose the piece to Em. This would correspond to a capo in the 7th fret.

Am = Em; C = G; D = A; F = C; E = H7