Corinna's Going A-Maying

  • Composer: Bramwell Tovey 
  • Publisher: manuscript
  • Canadian Work: Yes
  • Duration: 4:20

Program Notes:

This is the second of the Songs of Envious Time, offering the words of Robert Herrick (1591-1674) in a delightful, pleading entreaty from one young person to another to get out of bed on a beautiful spring morning to go “a-Maying”. “Take no care for jewels for your gown or hair: Wash, dress, be brief in praying…” and get outside to find love while we’re still young.

Conductor Notes:

Please see “Songs of Envious Time” for notes on all three movements of this suite.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.




II Corinna’s Going A-Maying Text: Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Get up, get up for shame! The blooming morn

Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.

See how Aurora throws her fair

Fresh-quilted colours through the air:

Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see

The dew bespangling herb and tree!

Each flower has wept and bow’d toward the east

Yet you not drest;

Nay! not so much as out of bed?

When all the birds have matins said

And sung their thankful hymns, ’tis sin,

Nay, profanation, to keep in,

Whereas a thousand virgins on this day

Spring sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.

Rise, and be seen

To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,

Take no care

For jewels for your gown or hair:

Wash, dress, be brief in praying:

And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;

But, my Corinna, come, let ‘s go a-Maying.

There ‘s not a budding boy or girl this day

But is gone up and gone to bring in May.

Some have wept and woo’d, and plighted troth,

And chose their priest, ere we have cast off sloth:

Many a green gown, many a kiss,

Many a glance has been sent

From out the eye, love’s firmament:

Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,

We shall grow old apace, and die

Our life is short, can ne’er be found again,

All love, all liking, all delight

Lies drown’d with us in endless night.

Then, while time serves, and we are but decaying,

Come, my Corinna, come, let ‘s go a-Maying.