Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is a #Renaissance piece by Thomas Morley that was likely composed for the original production of Shakespeare’s comedy “As You Like It.” Two pages sing “It Was a Lover and His Lass” for Touchstone in Act 5, Scene 3.
Shakespeare’s plays included a number of songs, but little information about the music used in his productions has survived. Some pieces were popular songs from the period (particularly the dances mentioned), others had lyrics written by Shakespeare set to an existing melody, and some tunes were likely original for each play.
Referencing Ross W. Duffin’s excellent book on the topic (p. 221-223 of Shakespeare’s Songbook), this song is likely one of the few original settings that survives as it would have been originally presented.
A very enjoyable part of my work has been arranging songs based on known excerpts and also writing original music to Shakespeare’s lyrics. If you’d like to hear more of those pieces, check out my Shakespeare playlist:
My performance of “It Was a Lover and His Lass” comes from the musical pre-show I designed for Coronado Playhouse’s production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (thanks to John Pauter for the archival footage!). Thanks also to the team at the Coronado Playhouse for giving me the opportunity! I learned a lot from my work on that show and really enjoyed being part of it ?I’m also grateful for the recognition of my work in the form of CPH Blue Ribbon and San Diego ACT Aubrey Awards (for sound design, musical direction, and acting [Ursula/Balthasar])!
I hope you enjoy my rendition of this piece, and thank you, as always, for watching!