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O love, 'tis a calm starry night

author of text

O love, ‘tis a calm starry night is a folk-song of probable Irish origin. A footnote to the 1897 publication Irish folk-songs by Alfred Perceval Graves states: 'The words of this song are an adaptation of an old ballad supplied to us, with the air, by Dr P W Joyce from his unpublished collection of Irish music.' This Graves version is mentioned in Norman Cazden’s Folksongs of the Catskills in connection with a version of The little cabin-boy but the original folk-song itself was never found in the Catskills. The arrangement recorded here is one of many specially written for the Caius Choir by Patrick Hadley (1899-1973). Born in Cambridge, Hadley became a close friend of Vaughan Williams but never shared his missionary-like zeal for folk-song, although a subtle folk influence may be felt in his music. When he retired he planned to extend his interest in folk-music collection, but serious illness restricted his activities. Among his varied output the symphonic ballad The trees so high and the cantatas The hills and Fen and flood are widely admired.

from notes by Phillip Borg-Wheeler © 2016


Studio Master: SIGCD447Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 14 on SIGCD447 [2'59] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD447 track 14

Recording date
20 June 2013
Recording venue
St Mark's Church, Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Christopher Monks & John Taylor
Recording engineer
John Taylor
Hyperion usage
  1. Greensleeves (SIGCD447)
    Disc 1 Track 14
    Release date: April 2016
    Download only
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