Sorrows Plague My Broken Heart

This Elizabethan part-song was collectively written during two workshops given by Crispin Sexi at the combined guilds event in Rowany, September 2004. The lyrics are based on other part-songs of the late 16thC, with the last line pinched from Master Godfrey's "Bigge Booke of Mopey Elizabethan Songs". The music was then composed using Thomas Campion's cunning method of writing counterpoint, which is also explained on Godfrey's website.

The first cut of the music was quite unsatisfactory, because the soprano, alto and tenor lines spiralled upwards without limit. This was fixed in the second cut, where the upper three voices skip down to the next note of the chord whenever the bass part stayed on the same note, plus a few passing notes were added in. The final cut was produced after the event, when Crispin filled in a few more passing notes, and noticed how much more ballanced the whole piece would be if the alto and tenor parts were swapped.

This was a group effort by Crispin, Finn, Helene, Fergus and Firk. The lyrics are:

Sorrows plague my broken heart,
Thine eyes do pierce like Cupid's dart,
Alas thy looks do cease to flow,
I weep, and weeping I do go.