Return to Early Music Page
|"Browning" or "The Leaves be Green" was a popular tune of the late 16th. century that several
English Composers have used as the basis of a composition. Versions by William Byrd, Clement Woodcock and Henry
Stonings (in 5 parts) and by Elway Bevin (in 3 parts) have survived. In all of them, one part plays the basic melody
while other parts play variations and harmonies on the melody, the melody moving from part to part. In most, the
first statement of the melody is in the tenor followed by the bass then moving to the upper parts. There are two
sets of words that may be sung to the melody.
The version here by Henry Stonings is the shortest, with one complete statement of the melody in each part.
|Version by Clement Woodcock|
|The leaves be green, the nuts be brown,
They hang so high, they will not come down.
Browning Madame, browning Madame,
So merrily we sing browning Madame,
The fairest flower in the garden green,
Is in my love's breast all comely seen,
And with all others, compare she can,
Therefore now let us sing browning Madame.
Copyright Geoff Walker © 2001
Last Modified 29 September 2001