Sylvia, 'tis true you're fair, Z512

The Theatre of Music III, 1686
author of text

This song was first published in 1686 in Henry Playford’s third volume of The Theatre of Music. Sylvia, the subject of the anonymous author’s bitter harangue, misuses her beauty: instead of bringing ‘consent and enjoyment’ she causes ‘torment’ to her would-be lover. His final line before the bass ‘chorus’ voice joins in is especially direct: ‘For were you not handsome, who the Devil would love you?’

from notes by Robert King © 2003


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