Hand in hand with fairy grace (Benjamin Cooke)

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Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2021-09-16).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 252 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Uses the alternative text.
  • (Posted 2019-08-27)  CPDL #55185:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2019-08-27).   Score information: A4, 14 pages, 138 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.
  • (Posted 2007-09-20)  CPDL #15066:  Network.png PDF file available.
Editor: Andrew Pink (submitted 2007-09-20).   Score information: A4, 16 pages, 375 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Hand in hand with Fairy grace
Composer: Benjamin Cooke
Lyricist: William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, Scene II

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SSATB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1795
  2nd published: 1851 Novello's Glee Hive
Description: The "alternative" text is spurious; it is not a variant reading of Shakespeare, but a bowdlerization in the high-Victorian manner. It is worth preserving as an example of Novello's anachronistic approach to his sources. In an era when (allegedly) piano legs were covered up because they were suggestive, any hint at sexual intercourse was taboo; even more particularly when associated with fairies. Thus "To the best bride-bed will we,/Which by us shall blessed be;/And the issue there create/Ever shall be fortunate,/So shall all the couples three/Ever true in loving be;" is re-written as "To the children’s bed will we,/Which by us shall blessed be;/And the infants will we fate/Ever to be fortunate,/So shall all these children three/Ever true and happy be;". This prudery appears comical today, but the serious point is that it subverts and traduces Cooke's antiquarian interests. It is a trait commonly found in Victorian editions of earlier settings of Elizabethan and Jacobean texts.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text


Titania: Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

Oberon: Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue there create
Ever shall be fortunate,
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be;
And the blots of Nature’s hand
Shall not in their issue stand:
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
Shall upon their children be.
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait,
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace, with sweet peace;
Ever shall in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.
Trip away;
Make no stay;
Meet me all by break of day.


Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the children’s bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the infants will we fate
Ever to be fortunate,
So shall all these children three
Ever true and happy be;
And the blots of Nature’s hand
Shall not in their issue stand:
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
Shall upon their children be.
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait,
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace, with sweet peace;
Ever shall in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.
Trip away;
Make no stay;
Meet me all by break of day.