Greenery
SG1052

Behold, my love, how green the groves

Music: Trad. arr. Brad Pierson. Words: Robert Burns (1759–96)
SSA, piano
Performance time approx 2m 45s
Range: S1: c' – f'' / S2: c' – e''♭ / A: f (or g) – a'♭
Price code: D
Complexity: **

See a perusal copy of the music.
Hear a performance
Burns noted in November 1794: ‘On my visit the other day to my fair Chloris (that is the poetic name of the lovely goddess of my inspiration), she suggested an idea which, on my return from the visit, I wrought into [this] song.’ The song takes up a common theme of his: the superiority of country life and music to that of wealthy princes or courtiers.

The tune (My lodging is on the cold ground) was first associated with lyrics by Matthew Locke and was used in Sheridan’s play The Rivals. It became very popular.

Brad Pierson’s arrangement moves from unison first verse to three part harmony, to another spell of two part harmony before finishing in three parts again. The piano part nicely complements the words, for example conveying the plucking of the wild flowers.

Dynamics have been left to the performers. Let the voicing and tessitura be your guide.

For a different setting of this song (SATB&piano) see Alasdair MacLeans's How green the groves.

Words

Behold, my love, how green the groves,
The primrose banks how fair;
The balmy gales awake the flowers,
And wave thy flaxen hair.

The lav'rock shuns the palace gay,
And o'er the cottage sings:
For Nature smiles as sweet, I ween,
To Shepherds as to Kings.

Let minstrels sweep the skilfu' string,
In lordly lighted ha':
The Shepherd stops his simple reed,
Blythe in the birken shaw.

The Princely revel may survey
Our rustic dance wi’ scorn;
But are their hearts as light as ours,
Beneath the milk-white thorn!

The shepherd, in the flowery glen,
In shepherd's phrase, will woo:
The courtier tells a finer tale,
But is his heart as true!

These wild-wood flowers I've pu'd, to deck
That spotless breast o’ thine:
The courtiers' gems may witness love,
But, 'tis na love like mine.

Purchase – 1052: Behold, my love, how green the groves

Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Name of group
Size of group
The price depends on the number of singers in your group. This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print - for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.

Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.

Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not instantly, because each PDF file is created specially for the purchaser.

Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple credit or debit card if you don’t have a Paypal account. Your Paypal transaction will be in sterling and it will be converted automatically if your credit card draws on a different currency. Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.

If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros, then please e-mail your order to us instead of using the form above.
Canasg Choral Music Publishing
Canasg Music
16 Morningside Park,
Edinburgh EH10 5HB, Scotland
Contact us