Mezzo Katherine Soroka & English Hornist Mark DuBois
Instrumentation: Mezzo and English horn (or alto flute, or clarinet, or viola)
Grey Hills Ensemble
University of Alabama,
Come Live with Me (formerly called Wedding Song) is a setting of verses from Christopher Marlowe’s A Passionate Shepherd To His Love, drawn from the earliest printed version in the anthology titled The Passionate Pilgrim, published in 1599; the only variant is the addition of the word ‘come’ at the start, characteristic of later iterations. The text inspired a lyrical melody with a yearning quality, and a countermelody that gently circles and sometimes joins with the other. This version is scored for mezzo and English horn, as in the recording above. It is also available for soprano singer. In addition to the English horn, instrumental parts to perform with mezzo are available for clarinet, viola, and cello. This song has been performed in both concert settings and at weddings.
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
There will we sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flock,
By shallow rivers, by whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
There will I make thee a bed of roses,
With a thousand fragrant poses,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs,
And if there pleasures may thee move,
Then live with me, and be my love.