Tune Tuesday: Flow, My Tears 1600

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Flow My Tears Dowland Image One
Image Credit: youtube.com

Four hundred, twenty years ago, Renaissance composer, lutenist and singer John Dowland (a contemporary of William Shakespeare) publishes his Second Book of Songs in London. There were 22 song titles in the book and the most well known of these is Flow, My Tears. Written as an aria and for a lute, its style and form is based on a pavane, a slow, couple-dance common in the 16th century. It’s original 1596 title was Lachrimae Pavane (literally “tears dance”) and Dowland added lyrics later.

This is Dowland’s most famous aria and he would, occasionally, sign his name as Jo. Dolandi de Lachrimae (literally, “John of the Tears“)

Lines 8 thru 10 are quoted in Philip K. Dick‘s book Flow, My Tears, the Policeman Said, a science fiction novel set in a dystopian future. The book’s title is a direct reference to Dowland’s piece.

Additional Reading & Sources:
John Dowland (Edition HH Music Publishers)
John Dowland Part I (Millenium of Music)
John Dowland Biography (Study Website)
Lachrimae: Continental Context (University of London Goldsmiths)
Flow, My Tears (Wikipedia)
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (Wikipedia)

Philip K Dick Book Image Two
Image Credit: Doubleday
Philip K. Dick 1974
First Edition Hardcover
wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled for ever, let me mourn;
Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.

Down vain lights, shine you no more!
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their last fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.

Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days, my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.

From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain for my deserts, for my deserts
Are my hopes, since hope is gone.

Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to contemn light
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world’s despite.

10 thoughts on “Tune Tuesday: Flow, My Tears 1600

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    May 6, 2020 at 7:01 PM

    That’s stunning. It sounds so familiar yet I think that’s the first time I’ve heard it.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 6, 2020 at 10:56 PM

      There is, indeed, a familiarity to it. It’s gorgeous.

    badfinger20 said:
    May 14, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    That is great…never heard it before I don’t think.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 14, 2020 at 3:08 PM

      I hadn’t either until researching. Never know what you might find when you dig…

        badfinger20 said:
        May 14, 2020 at 3:57 PM

        It’s something about selling the song like that

        badfinger20 said:
        May 14, 2020 at 5:01 PM

        You know…I’ve been paying attention to my archive stuff… It boggles my mind why some things are popular all of a sudden… I did a post called “The Eddie Haskells of the world”…it’s got 127 views this month????? What the hell? I checked to see if he passed or if he was in the news….nope…that’s more than it got when I wrote it last year…
        Last month it was the Pink Panther…I check the news and nothing. I know all these damn people can’t just say…Hey I want to search for Eddie Haskell or the Pink Panther at once.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          May 15, 2020 at 12:02 AM

          Sometimes it is people doing searches. I’m assuming you have all four of your Website Verification Codes (Webmaster Tools)? Our blogs are visible to all the bots & spiders.

          It could’ve been a hacker test, looking for vulnerabilities. Hard to tell. There are some really bored teenagers in Latvia and the whole planet is on lockdown.

            badfinger20 said:
            May 15, 2020 at 12:08 AM

            When I do a search I come up…I thought about the hacker deal…I doubt it…it would have been more probably and not just focused on that lol.
            My index gets pulled up a hell of a lot.

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              May 15, 2020 at 12:34 AM

              My landing page gets a lot of hits, from all over the world…but, I expect that, considering the material.

                badfinger20 said:
                May 15, 2020 at 1:01 AM

                Pink Panther was all over…Haskell was more from America…which makes sense.

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