Music – Song Critic
Greensleeves is amazingly a beautiful song sung by Loreena McKennitt. The song is from the album “The Visit”. The album was released in 1991. It is one of few most memorable songs for me. The song appeals thousands of music lovers like me for its ultimate romantic feelings. It’s a plea of a lover, who has been rejected by his beloved. I like this song because of its fine combination of romantic and melancholy note. The deep feelings of the lover are accompanied by the perpetual velvet voice of Loreena McKennitt. The way she sings, creates an effect of a breeze. It is a constantly floating voice. The song is also appealing, for its divine tune and the music of the poem. The tune successfully creates the Celtic atmosphere. It means that if one closes one’s eyes, one can feel the essence of the English and Scottish countryside. The guitar has added to this song accentuates the Spanish feeling as well. The song is influenced by the pastoral tone as well. The music gives immense peace and calmness to our mind. When I close my eyes and listen to the song, I feel as if I am in a deep meditation. The lyric of the song is one more factor that can highly be appreciated. Though the lyric of the music is romantic, the music has a strong spiritual and divine touch.
The Central Ideas
The Romantic Feelings:
The ultimate romantic feelings are basically reflected in the lyrics with some specific expressions such as “delighting in your company”, “my heart of joy” etc. This romanticism has been kept intact in its silent and calm melody.
Greensleeves was my delight,Greensleeves was my heart of goldGreensleeves was my heart of joyAnd who but my lady Greensleeves (Traditional, n.d.).If looked at the above lines we come to know the deep romance of the lover towards his mistress. Like these lines, each and every line of the poem strongly portrays the lover craving for his beloved’s love. The romantic background of this song is not usual like other love stories. It is the longing of the lover and the unresponsiveness shown by the beloved towards the person who loves her deeply. The desperation of the lover is reflected in the lines. The song can best be called Romanesca ; mainly belongs to Spanish music. The music of the song is not commercial but it has a touch of folk song.
The Voice of the artist
One more significant characteristic found in the song. The voice of McKennitt can be called as “Lady Bass”. This term can generally be used to the deep female voice. The maximum song is sung in the deep and low pitch by McKennitt. At the same time the instrumental pitch is always high. But her voice has been stuck to the lowest hum of the instruments. It is because she wants to connote the sad feelings which are always expressed in low tone.
Theme, background, Imagery and Symbolism
There has always been a debate on the composer of this song. It is said that the song is composed by Henry VIII for his beloved Ann Boleyn. But the typical tune used in the song was not there in England during the reign of Henry VIII. Whatever debate may be there the song is very innocuous, and the composer seems to be extremely sentimental. Greensleeves is the name given to the beloved of the lover. The green colour is symbolic here and it is associated with devotion and fidelity. The lover is very committed to his beloved. The same devotion and commitment is shown by the singer while singing the song.
I have been ready at your handTo grant whatever thou would'st crave;I have waged both life and landYour love and goodwill for to have (Traditional, n.d.).
For gaining the love of his mistress, the lover offered everything to her including lavish presents. Though she accepts the gift, she never accepts his love. This is the plea of the poet. The music is apt and it brings the listeners directly to 16th century era when the courtship would be described in immense emotions. The emotions have a fine touch of mystery. The mystery lies in the voice of the singer and the origin of the tune’s original composer as well. In short it can be said that the song is powerful in touching the minds of the listeners with its heart touching lyrics and alluring music.
Traditional,. Loreena Mckennitt - Greensleeves Lyrics | MetroLyrics. Metrolyrics.com. Retrieved 9 February 2016, from http://www.metrolyrics.com/greensleeves-lyrics-loreena-mckennitt.html
YouTube,. (2011). Loreena Mckennitt Greensleeves, Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGwVTcSHeXM