The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Why shall not I (Unattributed)

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Lyrics  |  Manuscript  |  Authors and Composers
The Lyrics of Henry VIII
Appendix 1: Lyrics by Occasion/Theme  |  Appendix 2: Textual/Musical Witnesses  |  Appendix 3: Bibliography

And I war a maydyn What remedy what remedy

[ff. 107v-108r]

Why shall not I.
why shall not I to my lady.
why shall not I be trew
why shall not I.

my lady hath me in that grace                                      5
she takes me as her howne
her mynd is in non other place
now sith it ys thus known
why shall not I

my lady sayth of trouth. it ys                                      10
no loue that can be lost
alas alas what word ys this
her to remember mest
why shall not I.

Textual Commentary[edit]

Meditating on his lady’s statement that “trouth … ys no loue that can be lost” (ll. 10–11), the speaker of this lyric asks himself the rhetorical question posed in the incipit.

6 howne Own.

The unattributed “Why shall not I” is through-set in three voices.

This piece is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 2250.5, Boffey, and Ringler MS TM1051. Reprinted in Flügel Anglia 250–51, Flügel Neuengl 137, Stevens M&P 419, and Stevens MCH8 79.

Textual Notes[edit]

Texts Collated[edit]

H1,2,3 (ff. 107v–108r).

9 not I] I not H3
10 trouth.] non trouth^ H2, trouth^ H3
13 remember] reme H1, remember H2,3; mest] est H1,2,3 (Stevens M&P 419 and others)
14 not I] I not H3