Full details...
page one of Greensleeves

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

Static preview

The static preview shows a basic image of the first page.

Interactive preview

The interactive preview also shows a preview of the first page, but it's a bit slower to load. The preview is displayed using the Sibelius Cloud Publishing technology from Avid. With most scores, this technology will provide a higher quality preview, as well as being able to switch to full screen mode and also play the displayed music to you.

Printing after purchase

After you have purchased this item the Cloud Publishing technology is utilised to provide the printing mechanism for the music. As such, we recommend checking that the Interactive Preview displays correctly on your device before committing to a purchase.

Full details

My Piano realisation of this traditional English folk song and tune is based on Ralph Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves which featured in his opera Sir John in Love (1924-28).

"Greensleeves" is basically a ground of the form called a romanesca. A broadside ballad by this name was registered at the London Stationer's Company in 1580 as "A Handful of Pleasant Delights� (1584) as "A New Courtly Sonnet of the Lady Green Sleeves. To the new tune of Green sleeves." Notated music was generally not published in England in those days because of an exclusive agreement which Queen Elizabeth I had with two publishers. Single side printed broadsheets (broadsides) however, were published bearing just the texts of popular songs. It was assumed that the general public knew these tunes and all they needed were the lyrics of the songs to remind them of the melodies.

It is a widely-believed legend is that Greensleeves was composed by King Henry VIII (1491-1547) for his lover and future queen consort Anne Boleyn. However, it is most unlikely that King Henry VIII wrote it, as the song is written in a style which was not known in England until after Henry VIII died.

It is broadly acknowledged that Lady Green Sleeves was at the very least a promiscuous young woman and perhaps a prostitute. The reference to the colour of her sleeves suggests grass stains from a recent rendezvous with a suitor. Additionally, in England the colour green was associated with prostitution. It is said that the green sleeves were removable and required to be worn by prostitutes as a label of their profession. An alternative explanation is that Lady Green Sleeves was, as a result of her attire, incorrectly assumed to be immoral. Her "discourteous" rejection of the singer's advances quite clearly makes the point that she is not.


(London Stationer's Company, 1580)

Alas, my love, you do me wrong, To cast me off discourteously. For I have loved you well and long, Delighting in your company.

Chorus: Greensleeves was all my joy Greensleeves was my delight, Greensleeves was my heart of gold, And who but my lady greensleeves.

Your vows you've broken, like my heart, Oh, why did you so enrapture me? Now I remain in a world apart But my heart remains in captivity.


I have been ready at your hand, To grant whatever you would crave, I have both wagered life and land, Your love and good-will for to have.


If you intend thus to disdain, It does the more enrapture me, And even so, I still remain A lover in captivity.


My men were clothed all in green, And they did ever wait on thee; All this was gallant to be seen, And yet thou wouldst not love me.


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.


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.


Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu, To God I pray to prosper thee, For I am still thy lover true, Come once again and love me.


Score ID
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
3 minutes
Solo instrument (Piano)
Classical music

For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Reviews of Greensleeves

Sorry, there's no reviews of this score yet. Please .

You might also like...