Of all the birds that ever I see (Thomas Ravenscroft)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2021-03-01). Score information: A4, 3 pages, 128 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. Edition prepared from Warren, which appears to include traditional features of performance not recorded in the original.
- Editor: Gordon J. Callon (submitted 1999-03-15). Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 131 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes:
Title: Of all the birds that ever I see
Composer: Thomas Ravenscroft
Number of voices: 3vv Voicings: STB or TTB
Genre: Secular, Partsong
Instruments: A cappella
First published: 1609 in Deuteromelia, no. 7
Description: Described in Deuteromelia as a freemen's song, it was revived and included by Thos. Warren in his 17th collection of catches, canons and glees, pub. 1769 (attributed to Nicholas Freeman, 1667!). The piece was used as a glee in several theatrical productions of the late eighteenth century, which probably explains its appearance in a regimental sing-song on the eve of the Battle of El Hammad (Egypt, 1807).
Original text and translations
Of all the birds that ever I see,
the Owl is the fairest in her degree,
For all the day long she sits in a tree,
and when the night comes, away flies she,
Te whit, te who, to whom drinks thou?
Sir knave to thou,
This song is well sung, I make you a vow,
and he is a knave that drinketh now.
Nose, nose, nose,
and who gave mee that jolly red nose?
Cinamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, and cloves,
and that gave thee thy jolly red nose.