Whether men do laugh or weep (Charles Hubert Hastings Parry)

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  • (Posted 2023-12-20)  CPDL #78429:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-12-20).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 397 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Whether men do laugh or weep
Composer: Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
Lyricist: Thomas Campion  ?
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1897 in Six Lyrics from an Elizabethan Song Book, no. 4
Description: Novello, Ewer, and Co.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Whether men do laugh or weep,
Whether they do wake or sleep,
Whether they die young or old,
Whether they feel heat or cold;
There is underneath the sun
Nothing in true earnest done.

All our pride is but a jest,
None are worst and none are best;
Grief and joy and hope and fear
Play their pageants everywhere:
Vain Opinion all doth sway,
And the world is but a play.

Powers above in clouds do sit,
Mocking our poor apish wit,
That so lamely with such state
Their high glory imitate.
No ill can be felt but pain,
And that happy men disdain.

Campion and Rosseter’s Book of Airs (1601)