Greensleeves Lyrics – PDF

Lyrics to Nursery Rhymes and Christmas Carols

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“Greensleeves” is a traditional English folk song and tune, over a ground either of the form called a romanesca; or its slight variant, the passamezzo antico; or the passamezzo antico in its verses and the romanesca in its reprise; or of the Andalusian progression in its verses and the romanesca or passamezzo antico in its reprise.

There is a persistent belief that Greensleeves was composed by Henry VIII for his lover and future queen consort Anne Boleyn. Boleyn allegedly rejected King Henry’s attempts to seduce her, and this rejection may be referred to in the song when the writer’s love “cast me off discourteously”. However, the piece is based on an Italian style of composition that did not reach England until after Henry’s death, making it more likely to be Elizabethan in origin.


Greensleeves | Lyrics for kids

  1. Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
    To cast me off discourteously.
    For I have loved you well and long,
    Delighting in your company.
    Greensleeves was all my joy
    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

  2. I have been ready at your hand,
    To grant whatever thou wouldst crave;
    I have both wagered life and land,
    Your love and good-will for to have.
    Greensleeves was all my joy
    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

  3. I bought thee petticoats of the best,
    The cloth so fine as it might be;
    I gave thee jewels for thy chest,
    And all this cost I spent on thee.
    Greensleeves was all my joy
    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

  4. Thy smock of silk, both fair and white,
    With gold embroidered gorgeously;
    Thy petticoat of sendal right,
    And these I bought thee gladly.
    Greensleeves was all my joy
    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

  5. Well I pray to God on high,
    That thou my constancy mayst see,
    And that yet once before I die,
    Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me.
    Greensleeves was all my joy
    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

  6. Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
    God I pray to prosper thee,
    For I am still thy lover true,
    Come once again and love me.
    Greensleeves was all my joy
    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

 

Greensleeves | Original Lyrics

1. Alas, my love, ye do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously:
And I have lovèd you so long,
Delighting in your company!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

2. I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave;
I have both wagèd life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

3. I bought thee kerchers to thy head,
That were wrought fine and gallantly;
I kept thee both at board and bed,
Which cost my purse well-favour’dly.
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

4. I bought thee petticoats of the best,
The cloth so fine as might be;
I gave thee jewels for thy chest,
And all this cost I spent on thee.
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

5. Thy smock of silk, both fair and white,
With gold embroider’d gorgeously;
Thy petticoat of sendal right,
And these I bought thee gladly.
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

6. Thy girdle of the gold so red,
With pearls bedeckèd sumptuously,
The like no other lasses had:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

7. Thy purse, and eke thy gay gilt knives,1
Thy pin-case,2 gallant to the eye;
No better wore the burgess’ wives:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

8. Thy crimson stockings, all of silk,
With gold all wrought above the knee;
Thy pumps, as white as was the milk:
And yet though wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

9. Thy gown was of the grassy green,
Thy sleeves of satin hanging by;
Which made thee be our harvest queen:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,

And who but Lady Greensleeves.

10. Thy garters fringèd with the gold,
And silver aglets 3 hanging by;
Which made thee blithe for to behold:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

11. My gayest gelding thee I gave,
To ride wherever likèd thee;
No lady ever was so brave:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

12. My men were clothèd all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

13. They set thee up, they took thee down,
They served thee with humility;
Thy foot might not once touch the ground:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

14. For every morning, when thou rose,
I sent thee dainties, orderly,
To cheer thy stomach from all woes:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

15. Thou couldst desire no earthly thing,
But still thou hadst it readily,
Thy music, still to play and sing:
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

16. And who did pay for all this gear,
That thou didst spend when pleasèd thee?
Even I that am rejected here,
And thou disdainest to love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

17. Well! I will pray to God on high,
That thou my constancy mayst see,
And that, yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.

18. Greensleeves, now farewell! adieu!
God I pray to prosper thee!
For I am still thy lover true:
Come once again and love me!
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight;
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves.


pdf-iconTo download a printable lyrics PDF file, click here: Greensleeves PDF with Lyrics.

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