Shakespeare: King Lear (KL-22)

(CM107-9: 60 cues) This survey refers to the version as printed in the 1623 Folio. The 18 verse snatches are listed as it has been suggested that certain of them might have been sung, e.g. in NC (Duthie, 1960). See list in S158-194. FV20 The vocal music in King Lear (1924) offers a number of settings whose provenance is not always indicated, though perhaps belonging to the stage tradition preserved by Linley. G K Hunter in PS 337-344 ‘Words for music in King Lear’ comments on the verse snatches. MM8 no woodwind. Trumpeters are so shown in the cast list of Q. Edgar is acknowledged as a singer by Cutts. See also ‘Music in King Lear at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’ in SQ xiv (1963).

Granville-Barker (GPp i 328/ GPc ii 78/ GPd ii 74) notes ‘the Fool is allotted no formal and completed song, but… his snatches of melody should be melodious…This musical and lyrical relief to the strain of Lear’s passion is…an essential part of the play’s stagecraft’. See also ME 170-3 on the Fool’s song snatches.

The Penguin edition (1972/ 1996/ 2005) pp. 153-160 (P) prints melody and text of two songs and alludes to a further 17 places which might be interpreted as implying song snatches

act scene line Click here to find out more about suggested song
A ballad of the time relates to the title page in the 1608 Quarto exactly incorporating its title ‘A lamentable song of the death of King Lear and his three daughters’ (23 verses), DO241-4/K81-2 melody and text set to ‘Flying fame’. (55b) 117

[Equivalent citations relevant to this survey which appear in the Quarto of 1608 are shown within square brackets as Q (scenes) i-xxiv, and without brackets for those which do not appear in the Folio text of 1623. Trumpeters are shown in the cast list in Q. Edgar is acknowledged as a singer by Cutts, and Lear’s Fool has to sing.]

I i 32, 266 Sennet; Flourish (GPs i 77 ) ceremonial difference distinguished
[Q i 33, 257] Sound a sennet; {Flourish}
I ii 132-4 [My cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o’ Bedlam.–O, these eclipses do portend these *divisions! {Humming these notes} *Fa, sol, la, mi]. (F,G,A,E) For ‘Tom o’ Bedlam,’ see below III iv 56 and 81. Cf N&35 118 (130)
[Q ii 129-132] [on’s cue out he comes…mine is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like those of Bedlam, –O,…]
I iii 11 (Horns within}
[Q iii 10] Hunting horns within
I iv 7 Horns within
[Q iv 6] Enter…from hunting
I iv 36-37 [How old art thou?/ Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing.]
[Q iv 35 [How…young to…]
I iv 117-126 Have more than thou showest PS 154. PS338: incantation
[Q iv 114-123]
[Q iv 135-142] That lord that counsell’d thee PS338: incantation; DO 140 agrees but notes that it could be set ‘after a fashion’ to ‘Have I caught my heavenly jewel’ 119 (181)
I iv 148-151 [49]. {Sings} Fools had ne’er less grace in a year… 120
a) NC26/ NA45/ FV20 ii: in Linley tradition
b) uCM109: 1569 ‘Pepper’s black’ tune (‘Kettledrum’) C121/ CW290/ E41/ Eb50/ RE41 iv/ SC vi / SCt x 2 / SB369; (kMP f17); ۞YF20 ii; Flemish bagpipe, 4 sopranino recorders ۞YM28
c) uLH168: 1547 (DY21, p. 91/ CH f 1/ BO 2r 5) lute tablature with ‘Rogero’ (Ruggiero); with bass line C93-5/ CW231-2 with which it harmonizes. l/k WM ii 67b/ WL2; lute duet LR 1; gRZ i 8; cittern (CC f23v) CC5; tune SB398; kMB 55:37 FRESCOBALDI Canzona on Ruggiero; ed. Murray rSATB Schott 14026; 2 lutes John JOHNSON LR14. (325b)
d) St13: *‘Robin’ (DY63, p.113) M unacc. as St7a JONES ‘Hey Jolly Robin’ (48b)
e) uDO148-9 words to tune ‘Jog on’; voice and cittern ۞DO i 23 (405)
f) ‘The new Ruggiero’ 1584 set to ‘Quarter branles’ appeared in lute books: Phalèse 1549/ SU i p.28
I iv 152 [When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?]
[Q iv 164]
I iv 156-9 [50] {Sings}. Then they for sudden joy did weep 121
[Q iv 168-171] the words which Shakespeare quotes occur in a ‘*good-night’ ballad ‘John Careless’ (original 1586 tune untraced) Seng SQ ix (1958) 583-5
a) uGreer: S175-7 App. II/ St14a M acc. ‘Flying Fame’ 2nd tune (55b)
b) FV20/5 iii: in Linley tradition
c) LH168: as second stanza to Song [49] (120c)
d) S175-6/ St14/ PS 160: anon. Originally as a round à 3 in Ravenscroft’s Pammelia: ‘Late as I waked out of sleep’ 3M/; melody and words DO376-7/ PS160; ۞DO ii 64; Seng in SQ ix (1958) 383-4 ‘An early tune for the Fool’s song in King Lear’
e) uS220-1 ‘Flying fame’ melody (words of ballad lost) later known as ‘Chevy Chase’: versions CS104/ C199/ SB63 (55b)
f) uDO374-5 ‘If care do cause men cry’ melody set to ‘Some men for sudden joy do weep; as lute song, version 2 ۞DO i 53 (658)
g) ۞DeC 13 setting as a canon (anon. source untraced)
I iv 179-181 {Sings} Mum, mum; He that keeps nor crust nor crumb,(verse only?) Not in S list uFV20/5 iii; cf commentary in P155
[Q iv 191-3] 122
I iv 198-200 {Sings} The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,…) uFV20/5 iv/ PS155 PS339: more a proverb than a song 123
[Q iv 210-211]
I iv 207 {Sings} ‘Whoop, jug! I love thee!’ 124
[Q iv 219] (verse only, though there is a related (?) tune opening with the same word) CM413: ‘Whoop! Do me no harm, good man’ 3 hautboys ; PS 156 (410)
I iv 297-301 A fox, when one has caught her (verse only?); PS340: a rhyming exercise
[Q iv 311-5]
II i 78 Tucket within [Hark, the Duke’s trumpets]
[Q vi 78] Trumpets within]
II ii 223-8 {Sings} Fathers that wear rags…(verse only?) a) uFV20/5 v (source untraced). PS156 125
b) uDO140 set to ‘Wigmore’s galliard’ tune and words; as lute song ۞DO i 18 (247a)
251-8 {Sings} That sir which serves and seeks for gain… (verse only?)
[Q vii 244-251] a) uFV20/5 vi (source untraced) 126
b) uDO382-3 set to ‘Peg-a-Ramsay’ tune and words PS 156; as lute song ۞DO i 56 (347)
II ii 354-5 Tucket within [What trumpet’s that?/ I know’t, my sister’s] i.e. differentiated
[Q vii 340-1] Trumpets within [What…]
III i, ii 0 Storm still. (SM13 stage direction intended to avoid audience calling for
[Q viii, ix 0] favourite tunes and dances such as ‘Lachrymae’ or ‘Baloo’).
III ii 27-34 {Sings} The cod-piece that will house…(verse only?) PS 156: unsuited to music;
[Q ix 27-34] DO 149 agrees but suggests ‘might be set after a fashion to ‘Have I caught my heavenly jewel’ 127 (181)
III ii 74-77 [51] ([34]) {Sings} He that has a little tiny wit… cf NP 157 (cf TN V i 390 ‘When that
[Q ix 275-78] I was and a little tiny boy’) a) NS61/ NA111/ LH182 refers to L169/ S188-192 M + acct. CM110, cf 261a) +rSATB + g/k) S App VII: provenance doubtful 1772 but tune used in established stage tradition; major and minor versions S189-191/ St15a 128 (366a)
b) DO448-450 version of ‘Tom Tinker’ tune (368b)
III ii 81-94 When priests are more in word than matter (‘Fool’s prophecy’ verse only?) cf S174-5
[Q xi 0] Storm
III iv 43-45 [Away, the foul fiend follows me!..] spoken only
[Q xi 40-42] Through the sharp hawthorn (see also line 92 below) (Not in S list); NP 157 refers 129
uLH170-1: ‘Drive the cold winter away’ ballad tune C193-5/ CW173/ E39/ Eb22/ RE41 ii/ SCt x 18/ Scvi/ SB126; SS/AA Es4; ۞EnG15 iii/ ۞Wn13 i; note also + uSATB DM4, underlaid for ‘When icicles hang by the wall’ (155)
III iv 56 [Bless thy five wits! ] spoken only
[Q xi 51] Tom’s a-cold!. O, do de, do de, do de. London street cry ‘Poor naked Bedlam.’ 130
a) ‘Tom’s a-cold’. M reciting note (cf. TLS 5 Jan 1962, p. 9 Letter ‘Poor Tom in King Lear’) S177-80 App. III/ St16 /LH179: notes relationship to GIBBONS The London cry ‘Poor naked Bedlam, Tom’s a-cold’ voices and viols, in MB xxii 67 Schott ed. 1628/ Novello, ed. Stevens
b) *‘Gray’s Inn mask or Mad Tom’ c1610 à 2 (LM99: f44r, 93r-94v) RE47 ix, SA152; kMP 18; tune as ‘Mad Tom’ E56/ Eb30/ CW179-182/ C330-2; steps DI v 3; ۞Ci 16; rS/A/T + g RD4; l/t (BO 68, 106); LSoc C3: 5/ SA255; ۞BroA24 is unaccompanied song Old Tom o’Bedlam’ tune SB165; ballad tune and text SA256; Cf SS 55 (2002) 82-95 William C. Carroll ‘Songs of madness: the lyric after-life of Shakespeare’s Poor Tom’; SA notes probably used in a Beaumont and Fletcher masque 1613. DO404-6 words and tune ‘A New Mad Tom of Bedlam’ ۞DO ii 67 ii
c) Tom a Bedlam DO401-4/ C175 words and tune, 1615 BL iii 175; ۞DO ii 67 i (132)
III iv 57 Storm still
72 Pillicock sat on Pillicock Hill alow, alow, loo, loo PS341 sounds like ballad refrain (cf SQ xiv (1963) 486-7) Not in S list
[Q xi 69]
III iv 77 [Tom’s a cold.] (cf 130)
[Q xi 74]
III iv 92 Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind 131
94 Storm still
113-7 {Sings} Swithin footed thrice the wold;… PS341: incantation 132
[Q xi 109-113] uLH171: c1615 Tom a Bedlam (Tom’s a cold): lute/ virginals piece (GB-Lbl. Add . MS 38539 f14) C335/ CW175/ SA392 / LSoc C3:4/ GE29, tune SB467; as country dance E105
III iv 129-131 Horse to ride, and weapon to wear; But mice and rats and such small deer…
[Q xi 125-7] PS341: spoken – music unlikely here
III iv 138 [Poor Tom’s a-cold] 133 (130)
[Q xi 134]
III iv 170-2 Child Rowland to the dark tower came,… (PS341: not words for music) 134
[Q xi 168-170] LH173: ‘Loth to depart’ (28b)
Q xiii 21-23 [52] . COME O’ER THE BOURN, BESSY, to me,… Her boat hath a leak,… allusion to lost ballad 1558 by William Birch (SB p.125) 135
a) uS180-3/ St17/ CW121-2/ K54: c1530 part song à 3 ATB unacc. (GB-Lbl Add. MS 5665 f143v -144r. original text lost) MB xxxvi 16
b) CM 111/ uN52, 53-54 / S184-7/St17a/ PS160/ LH175; ۞Ci 16 after an untitled lute piece ‘Toy’, adapted from ‘Brown Bessy, sweet Bessy’ to be found in the Weld lute book
c) in C major by CUTTING (CH f80v) CHr30 ‘Over the broome Bessy’ tune and words uDO105-8; as song with cittern ۞DO i 13. M unacc. CM111 adapted rSATB; S185-8/ St17b piece from Welde lute book, ‘Brown Bessy’
d) i) St17c as instrumental concert piece; and ii) in another version SB78
25-26 [The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale]
37-40 {Sings} Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd 136
a) uLH175-7: set to *Flying fame 3rd tune: Chevy Chase see I iv 173 (2H4 II iv 33) (55b)
b) uDO232-4 set to RAVENSCROFT Rp 31 ‘Jolly Shepherd’ round à 3; ۞DO i 40/ ۞DU19 cf SQ 43 (1992) 224-6
III vi 24-31 Be thy mouth or black or white. PS341 incantation; P 159 137
[Q xiii 60-67] a) LH 179
b) uDO316 set to ‘Tom Tinker’ tune and words (368b)
IV iii 0 Enter with drummer and colours
1-2 [he was met even now, As mad as the vexed sea; singing aloud]
v 283 Drum afar off
[Q xx 277] A drum afar off
IV vi 13 [Th’ untuned and jarring senses, O! wind up Of this child-changed father!]
[Q xxi 13]
IV vi 58 [The shrill gorg’d lark]
Q xxi 0 {Soft Music]. [harmonious consort ‘within’] S242 strings, esp. viols; MH137: a *fancy for viols employing dissonance. Cf MJ 59 on Lear’s ‘restoration’ music. GPd ii 74 also suggests viol consort, though for the quiet harmonies to which Lear was to be waked. See also Ke198 138
a) LH178-9: 1599 [J2] HOLBORNE Pavane: Countess of Pembroke’s Paradizo: à 5 H17/ H1029; ۞CamQ5/ ۞Ci 16/ ۞FA ii 2/ ۞FH14/ ۞HsT18; rSSATB Hb i 5/ (LF179 gives S+B and only suggests rATB)/ rAA/TT/B Hg14; bqHa i 17; lute HB18; ۞Ma 17; gHBj 1
b) (B261) DOWLAND one of the seven Lachrymae pavans. harpsichord/ harp/dulcimer and plucked cello (See composer index) (31a)
23 [Please you, draw near. Louder the music there] AL230 The doctor calls for music as Lear revives, music that is a rich, full, sophisticated victory over the storm
V i 0 Enter with a drummer and colours
ii 0, 4 Alarum within. Enter with a drummer and colours…; Alarum and retreat within.
[Q xxiii 0, 4] Alarum; Alarum and retreat.
V iii 0 Enter „,with a drummer and colours;
9-12 [We too alone will sing like birds i’th’ cage…so we’ll live and pray, and sing, and tell old tales…]
[Q xxiv 9-12]
V iii 37 Flourish. Enter…drummer, trumpeter…
[Q xxiv 105] Enter a Herald and a trumpeter
V iii 100-6 [Come hither herald, Let the trumpet sound, And read out this.] A trumpet sounds
[Q xxiv 109] Trumpeter sounds [Again!]
[Q xxiv 106-113] […let him appear at the third sound of the trumpet…]
V iii 106-7 First Trumpet [Again.] Second Trumpet. [Again .]. Third Trumpet. Trumpet answers within.
[Q xxiv 114-6] {Trumpeter sounds} [Again!] Enter„, a trumpeter…
V iii 108-9 [Ask him his purposes, why he appears Upon this call o’th’ trumpet.]
[Q xxiv 115-6]
V iii 141 [Trumpets, speak !] Alarums;
[Q xxiv 146] {Flourish}
[213] [Twice then the trumpets sounded]
V iii 302 Exeunt with a dead march

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