Greensleeves on Mandolin with sung lyrics

We all know of or have heard the glorious song Greensleeves, but does anyone really know who wrote Greensleeves or who it was written for. The history of Greensleeves is a complex one full of mystery and myth but I shall only talk about two of them today. Who wrote Greensleeves you ask? Well, that is one of the biggest mysteries that revolve around Greensleeves. Most say it was written for Anne Boleyn by Henry viii but that can’t be true Because he died in the year 1547, While Greensleeves came about in the year 1580 also if it were true there would be something connecting the song and Anne Boleyn but there is not a single thing there. So, for now, it shall remain an anonymous song in the sense of who wrote the wonderful song Greensleeves. Why is the song called Greensleeves? Good question. Well, A possible interpretation of the lyrics is that Lady Green Sleeves was a promiscuous young woman, perhaps even a prostitute. At the time, the word “green” had sexual connotations, most notably in the phrase “a green gown”, a reference to the grass stains on a woman’s dress from engaging in sexual intercourse outdoors. An alternative explanation is that Lady Green Sleeves was, through her costume, incorrectly assumed to be sexually promiscuous. Her “discourteous” rejection of the singer’s advances supports the contention that she is not. In Nevill Coghill‘s translation of The Canterbury Tales, he explains that “green [for Chaucer’s age] was the color of lightness in love. This is echoed in ‘Greensleeves is my delight’ and elsewhere.” or it could mean, love and joy, youth, especially in the month of May, most interestingly in the secular sphere … chastity! These are just two of the mysteries of Greensleeves there will always be more to be said but this is where I stop. Hope you learned something new if not I still hope you enjoyed the performance up above.


Greensleeves: Mythology, History and Music. Part 1 of 3: Mythology

12 thoughts on “Greensleeves on Mandolin with sung lyrics”

  1. Your song was amazing! I loved your write up…very interesting and enlightening, It really made me think. Your voice is so beautiful and you play the mandolin so well. Great job!!!!

  2. Aelianora de Wyntringham

    Very nice! I love the background info you gave on the song as well. Learned some stuff from it!

  3. That was wonderful! Maybe we can play Green Sleeves together when we have in-person events again. I play the bass recorder. Looking forward to your next performance!

  4. Ciar ingen Fiachnae

    Awesome job Ysaunaa and I enjoyed the background research for the song and the meaning behind the green sleeves!

    1. Ysaunaa of Dragon's Laire

      Thank you so much and I do so much more I love to have something to do so I take up as much as I can.

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