GREENSLEEVES

Latest update on 16/10/2011

Artist: Raymond Dixon-William Hooley-Reinald Werrenrath
Author: traditional
Label: Victor
Year: 1915

Accompanied on cello and harp. Not written by king Henry VIII as sometimes suggested. First published in 1580 (as A New Northern Dittye Of The Lady Green Sleeves) and probably older. Mentioned in Shakespeare's Merry Wives Of Windsor (Act V, Scene 5), when Falstaff says: "Let the sky rain potatoes, let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves..." (1602). Written for a Lady Greensleeves as a rather wild dance tune, a quality lost somewhere through the ages. The lovely setting like we know it today credits lute player John Dowland (1562-1626). A Christmas carol since the 17th century with the words: The old year now away has fled, the new year now is enter-ed (Oxford Book of Carols).

Covers:

1728:

John Gay [in his Beggar's Opera]

1865:

William Chatterton Dix [wrote the 'What child is this'-lyrics in his poem The Manger Throne]

1871:

John Stainer [harmonized three stanzas from Dix's poem to the tune of Greensleeves]

1928:

Victor Band

1929:

Ralph Vaughan Williams [as Lento Moderato (Greensleeves) in his opera Sir John In Love, based upon Shakespeare's The Merry Wives Of Windsor; first professional performance in '46 in Sadler's Wells Theatre (see also: Fantasia On Greensleeves)]

1944:

Richard Dyer-Bennett [for Decca]

1951:

Mitch Miller

1952:

Mantovani

1952:

Miklos Rozsa [in film Plymouth Adventure as Tavern Music]

1952:

Burl Ives [as What Child Is This]

1953:

Weavers

1954:

Alfred Deller

1956:

Beverly Sisters [as Stay Away]

1956:

Father Sidney MacEwan [as What Child Is This?]

1956:

Norman Luboff Choir [idem]

1956:

Ames Brothers [idem]

1957:

Vipers Skiffle Group

1957:

Frances Faye

1957:

Odetta

1958:

Peggy Lee

1958:

Coleman Hawkins

1958:

Harry Belafonte [as The Son Of Mary]

1958:

Johnny Mathis [as What Child Is This?]

1959:

Paul Desmond

1960:

Fabulous Flee-Rakkers [as Green Jeans, rock instrumental; produced by Joe Meek; n°3 UK]

1961:

Rondels [as Shades Of Green]

1961:

Steve Douglas [as Rockin' Green Sleeves]

1962:

Bing Crosby [as What Child Is This in medley]

1962:

Invictas [as Green Bow Tie]

1962:

Debbie Reynolds [as Home In The Meadow in film How The West Was Won]

1962:

Smothers Brothers [as Where The Lilacs Grow]

1963:

Country Gentlemen [beat version banned by the BBC]

1964:

ZZ & De Maskers [uptempo version]

1964:

Marianne Faithfull [B-side of As Tears Go By]

1965:

Kiri Te Kanawa

1965:

Scorpions [B-side of Hey Honey; hit NL; band from Manchester, just like the Country Gentlemen; stole their beat arrangement]

1965:

Lords [German band, also following The Country Gentlemen's arrangement]

1967:

Elvis Presley [as Stay Away in film Stay Away, Joe]

1967:

Paul Revere & The Raiders [as Brotherly Love]

1968:

Jeff Beck

1968:

Frank Sinatra with Tina & Nancy [as The Bells Of Christmas]

1969:

Mason Williams [as Stay Away]

1974:

Leonard Cohen

1974:

Neil Young

1976:

Olivia Newton-John

1987:

Waterboys

1992:

Loreena McKennitt

1992:

Garth Brooks [as What Child Is This]

1994:

Ben Keith [with Neil Young and a 27-piece boys choir]

1994:

Rob De Nijs [as Welk Kind]

1995:

All-4-One [as What Child Is This]

1998:

Helmut Lotti

2004:

Sheoda

Greensleeves also by Al Dimeola, Monkees, Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel & Cynthia Gooding, ,Mason Williams, John Coltrane, Brothers Four, Spotnicks, Flanders & Swann, Billy Vaughn, Kenny G, New Christy Minstrels, Dave Brubeck and Perry Como.
What Child Is This by Chicago, Dan Fogelberg, Diana Ross, Bill Doggett, Faith Hill, The Four Seasons, Harry Connick Jr., Joan Baez, John Fahey, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Julie Andrews, Lee Greenwood, Martina McBride, Mel Tormé, Enya, Olivia Newton-John, Pete Seeger, Selah, Sufjan Stevens, The Isley Brothers, The Judds, Von Trapp Family, Mahalia Jackson, Crystal Gayle, Tony Bennett, Chick Corea, John Denver, Vince Gill, Vince Guaraldi, Reverend Horton Heat, Kim Carnes, Moody Blues, Tanya Tucker and André Previn.

Contact


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