The ballad of Semmerwater (Edgar Bainton)

From ChoralWiki

Music files

L E G E N D Disclaimer How to download
Icon_pdf.gif Pdf
Icon_mp3.gif Mp3
File details.gif File details
Question.gif Help
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-09-18).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 699 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The ballad of Semmerwater
Composer: Edgar Bainton
Lyricist: William Watson
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1910 J. Curwen & Sons

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

North-Country Legend

Deep asleep, deep asleep,
Deep asleep it lies,
The still lake of Semerwater
Under the still skies.

And many a fathom, many a fathom,
Many a fathom below,
In a king’s tower and a queen’s bower
The fishes come and go.

Once there stood by Semmerwater
A mickle town and tall;
King’s tower and queen’s bower
And the wakeman on the wall.

Came a beggar halt and sore:
“I faint for lack of Bread!”
King’s tower and queen’s bower
Cast him forth unfed.

He knocked at the door of the eller’s cot,
The eller’s cot in the dale.
They gave him of their oatcake,
They gave him of their ale.

He has cursed aloud that city proud,
He has cursed it in its pride;
He has cursed it into Semmerwater
Down the brant hillside;
He has cursed it into Semmerwater,
There to bide.

King’s tower and queen’s bower
And a mickle town and tall;
By glimmer of scale and gleam of fin,
Folk have seen them all.
King’s tower and queen’s bower,
And weed and reed in the gloom;
And a lost city in Semmerwater,
Deep asleep till Doom.