The Cloisters. Basilica Of Saint Paul-Without-The-Walls, Rome. Author: Dnalor 01. Licence (CC-BY-SA 3.0). Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

"Did You Not Hear My Lady ?". Composer: George Frederick Handel. Sung By: Aled Jones.


"Did You Not Hear My Lady ?"
Sung by: Aled Jones.
Composer: George Frederick Handel 
Available on YouTube at

“Silent Worship”.

Did you not hear My Lady
Go down the garden singing ?
Blackbird and thrush were silent
To hear the alleys ringing.

Oh saw you not My Lady
Out in the garden there ?
Shaming the rose and lily
For she is twice as fair.

Though I am nothing to her
Though she must rarely look at me
And though I could never woo her
I love her till I die.

Surely you heard My Lady
Go down the garden singing ?
Silencing all the songbirds
And setting the alleys ringing.

But surely you see My Lady
Out in the garden there,
Rivalling the glittering sunshine
With a glory of golden hair.

"Non lo dirò col labbro".

Allessandro's cavatina in act 1 of Tolomeo.

Non lo dirò col labbro
Che tanto ardir non ha.

Forse con le faville
Dell'avide pupille,
Per dir come tutt'ardo,
Lo sguardo parlera.

The song "Silent Worship" is a 1928 adaptation by Arthur Somervell of the aria "Non lo dirò col labbro" from Handel's 1728 opera Tolomeo (Ptolemy). Somervell's English-language adaptation is for voice and piano, and it has remained a popular classic in song recitals and home music-making. Other arrangements of Somervell's translation include voice accompanied by a modern symphony orchestra, and male choir.

"Silent Worship" is featured in the 1996 film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma, where it is sung by Gwyneth Paltrow (as Emma) and Ewan McGregor (as Frank Churchill). Although Somervell's 1928 English adaptation of the 1728 Handel aria was done more than a century after Austen's 1815 novel, the original Italian aria was recorded in Jane Austen's own handwritten songbooks. In the film, Somervell's piano introduction to the song is shortened.

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