Fifteen Songs

Jeremiah Clarke (c.1674-1707)

Editor: Edited and reconstructed by Timothy Roberts

for high voice (c'-a'') and continuo

Ref. no Cla 1 (in 'cantatas')           sample page      cover page      To order:     

  • 1. So sweet the charms of love
  • 2. Young Corydon and Phyllis
  • 3. Long has Pastora rul’d the plain
  • 4. The Country Farmer
  • 5. Come, sweet lass
  • 6. Jockey was dowdy lad
  • 7. Farewell, ungrateful nymph, farewell
  • 8. Oh! I feel the mighty dart
  • 9. In faith, 'tis true I am in love
  • 10. A Divine Hymn
  • 11. I'm wounded by Amanda's eyes
  • 12. Serene and gentle was the air
  • 13. Ah! Charmion, shroud those killing eyes
  • 14. While the lover is thinking
  • 15. Each tender virgin's fears will fly

Even within the genre of immediately appealing melodies, Clarke is certainly not a mere one-tune composer, for he had a knack for the catchy number. As Watkins Shaw remarked in relation to one of Clarke’s church pieces, his music can display “a quality which, if one compares it with Blow and Purcell, might almost be called galant”[1] This characteristic is often evident in his secular music too — for example, among the so-called “Scotch songs” ­(see No. 5 “Come, sweet lass” and No. 9 “In faith, ‘tis true”) whose fashionable leaping intervals and paired quaver note-setting indeed anticipate the true style galante of the later 18th century.

At the same time Clarke was also at home in more elaborate music, and darker, more pained songs such as No. 8 “Oh! I feel the mighty dart”, No. 11 “I’m wounded by Amanda’s eyes” and No. 3 “Long has Pastora rul’d the plain”, express a melancholy side that was recalled later by Philip Hayes:[2] the melancholy that it seems contributed to the composer’s youthful suicide which, according to contemporary broadsheets,[3] was the result of rejection in love.

[1] Article on Clarke in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

[2] British Library, Add. MS 33235

[3] For example, A Sad and Dismal Account of the Sudden and Untimely Death of Mr. Jeremiah Clarke (British Library)