National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu

Songs and instrumental music

This page contains the music of an extract from Venus and Adonis, as well as a number of folksongs and rounds contemporary with the opera, many of which have similar themes.

All the songs are arranged for young voices. From this page, you can download the sheet music (as PDF files) and word sheets for the children, together with example performances of the music and backing tracks.

To download files, right click on the link and select 'save target as...'

Up and down
This is a short round by Matthew Locke (c.1622 - 1677). Locke was a contemporary of John Blow, who wrote much of his music for the theatre. Moll Davies, who played Venus in the first performance of Venus and Adonis, became famous for her performance of one of Matthew Locke's songs. As well as singing this round, some children may like to play it on recorders or other melody instruments.

Download notated music as PDF: M5 Up and down.pdf
Listen to a performance


Download performance as mp3

O my love
Catches, or rounds, were very popular in Restoration England. This is another round, by an anonymous composer, about someone who has fallen in love.

Download notated music as PDF: M6 O my love music.pdf
Listen to a performance


Download performance as mp3


Barbara Allen
This is a very famous folksong that dates from the seventeenth century. Barbara Allen rejects her lover, who dies of a broken heart. Like Venus, who sends Adonis away to hunt, she is filled with remorse, and only in death do the two lovers unite.

Download notated music as PDF: M7 Barbara Allen music.pdf
Download the wordsheet: W7 Barbara Allen words.pdf
Listen to a performance


Download performance as mp3

Listen to backing track


Download backing track as mp3


Over the hills and far away
This is a popular song from the Restoration theatre. Young men tell of their plans to become soldiers and travel overseas. They clearly don't think very highly of their wives and children!

Download notated music as PDF: M8 Over the hills music.pdf
Download the wordsheet: W8 Over the hills words.pdf
Listen to a performance


Download performance as an mp3

Listen to backing track


Download backing track as mp3


The Hail Ballad
The famous diarist Samuel Pepys collected ballads. This is a ballad from his collection, telling of a hailstorm that hit London in 1680. It forms the basis for activities in Activity Pack 1: Musical news.

Download notated music as PDF: M1 Hail Ballad music.pdf
Download the wordsheet : W1 Hail Ballad words.pdf
Listen to a performance


Download performance as mp3

Listen to backing track


Download backing track as mp3


The Cupids' lesson

This is an extract from Venus and Adonis, which was originally performed by children. Cupid gives the Little Cupids a reading lesson. it forms the basis for Activity Pack 2: School Life in Restoration England.

Download notated music as PDF: M2 Cupids Lesson.pdf
Listen to a performance


Download performance as mp3


Christchurch Bells
This is the tune for a dance from John Playford's English Dancing Master. It was originally a song about the casting of 'Great Tom', the largest bell of Christchurch Cathedral in Oxford. It can be played in a three-part round. It forms the basis for Activity Pack 3: Learn a Restoration dance.

Download notated music as PDF: M3 Christchurch bells.pdf
Download simplified version of the melody as PDF: M3b Christchurch bells simplified.pdf
Listen to a performance of the melody alone


Download performance of melody as mp3

Listen to a performance of the three-part round


Download performance of round as mp3

Listen to a performance for two recorders and harpsichord


Download performance with two recorders and harpsichord as mp3


The Wild Boar Ballad
This is an adapted version of an American ballad, telling the story of Adonis' fight with the wild boar. It forms the basis of Activity Pack 4: The wild boar scene.

Download notated music as PDF: M4 Wild boar ballad music.pdf
Download classroom percussion version as PDF (used in Activity 4.2: Accompanying the Wild Boar Ballad): M4b Wild boar ballad music percussion.pdf
Download the wordsheet: W4 Wild boar ballad words.pdf
Listen to a performance


Download performance as mp3

Listen to backing track


Download backing track as mp3


Return to Venus and Adonis main page