John Dowland: English Lute Songs

a selection, edited by Brian Jeffery

Dowland English Lute Songs - from Tecla Editions


Twelve of the best-known English Lute Songs of John Dowland, presented so that they can be sung with either lute or guitar accompaniment. With the tablature, and also with the accompaniment arranged for guitar (in normal guitar tuning), for each song. A very popular Tecla book.

32 pages.  12 x 9 inches. First published by Tecla in 1982, now in its fourth printing.

Dowland: English Lute Songs 
Price 16,00 euros / or 11.60 UK pounds / or 20.00 US dollars
ISBN 978-0-906953-38-9 / TECLA 0038

For a recent (2009) customer comment, see below.

SEPTEMBER 2013   I'm sorry to say that because of damp in a warehouse in the past, all our copies have some rust on their staples (not very much, but it is there).  Please be aware of this when you order.  Of course remember that the music is fine.

If you're performing from English Lute Songs, you really need TWO COPIES, one for the singer and one for the guitarist or lutenist. Don't fiddle with photocopies, which are illegal anyway: if you like, you can get two copies, one for each of you, at a specially reduced price.

See a sample song:
"Come again!",  page 1 and page 2 (pdf files).

Each song is here presented with its accompaniment written out twice:

  • Once in tablature, which is very easy to read and can be played either on a lute, or easily on a guitar with the third string tuned down from G to F sharp;
  • and once in ordinary guitar notation for guitar with the third string tuned to G as usual, so that it can be played on a normal guitar in the usual way.

You can see how it works by looking at the first song here, "Come again!", page 1 and page 2 (pdf files).


To order direct, click the appropriate button below and worldwide carriage by Royal Mail Priority Air Mail will be added at the checkout.  You can pay by debit card, credit card, or PayPal. 

Dowland: English Lute Songs  TECLA 0038

Pay in euros:
16.00 euros

or pay in UK pounds:
11.60 UK pounds

or pay in US dollars:
20.00 US dollars

Or you can order it from most music shops and dealers worldwide.
It depends which you feel more comfortable with.

The book contains the following songs:

  • Come again! sweet Love doth now invite
  • Sleep, wayward thoughts
  • Awake, sweet love
  • Flow, my tears [Dowland's most famous song]
  • I saw my lady weep
  • Shall I sue
  • Flow not so fast, ye fountains
  • Say, Love, if ever thou didst find
  • Sweet, stay awhile
  • To ask for all thy love
  • Stay, Time, awhile thy flying
  • Time stands still

The vocal range is not high at all if the songs are sung with a normal guitar: only up to D or E at most.  If the songs are sung with a lute in G, then the voice sings a minor third higher, up to E or F or G except three songs which only go up to D. 

The very fine calligraphy in this edition was done by Barry Mason, who then for a long time ran the Spanish Guitar Centre in Cranbourn Street, London.

Alan Moore writes:

What a delight - I wish I had discovered Tecla Editions years ago. The quality of the collections that I have bought so far is really impressive and how sensible to offer a price incentive to dissuade people from photocopying.  [This refers to the special low prices which we offer when singers buy two copies of a book at the same time, one for the singer and one for the pianist or guitarist, as for example for this book English Lute Songs, see above.]

The Dowland English Lute Songs is superb. I havenít yet played them with a singer but the accompaniments alone are a delight to play as solos! Having tried a capo for the first time, as you recommend for some of the songs; I am quite astonished by the difference in the sound quality - it is almost as though I am playing a different instrument. Everyone who enjoys Elizabethan music must try this book. Thank you Brian Jeffery - it is a pleasure to deal with your company. Alan Moore

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Copyright 2003 by Tecla Editions. Errors and omissions excepted.