The Seven Ages of Man


1. infantia

At first the infant, mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;

Three Blind Mice - soprano, tenor, baritone - Ravenscroft

Derrie ding ding dasson (from Melismata) - audience - Ravenscroft

Ring around the rosie - soprano, garklein recorder - Anonymous (14th century)

O ye tender babes - great bass recorder and harp - Tallis (c.1505-1585)


2. pueritas

Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel and shining morning face creeping like snail unwilling to school.

When that I was a tine little boy (from Twelfth Night) - recorder, lute - Anonymous

Fond youth is a bubble - soprano, alto and bass recorders, bass transverse flute - Tallis

O admirablile veneris idolum - soprano, rebec, Vatican Ms. 3327 (10th century)


3. adolescentia

...And then the lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress' eyebrow.

Pastime with good company - vocal trio, recorders, sacbut, zink - Henry VIII (1491-1547)

I am athirst (from Pamelia) - audience - Ravenscroft

Courtier's good morrow to his mistress - soprano, recorders, gamba - Ravenscroft

Bobbing Joe - dancers - Playford (1623-1686)

Greensleeves - lute - Anonymous (16th century)

Pase el agoa - soprano, recorder quartet - Anonymous (16th century)

Sephardic Song: Una hija tiene el rey - soprano, lute, recorder, finger cymbals - Anon. (16th century)

La belle se siet - soprano, tenor recorder, gamba - Dufay (died 1474)

Douce dame - ensemble - Machaut (c.1300-1377)


4. inventus

Then a soldier, full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, jealous in honour, 
sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon's mouth.

Amor vittorioso - soprano, recorders, gamba - Gastoldi (c.1550-1622)

Three ravens - soprano, lute, vocal quartet - Ravenscroft

War Branle - dancers, ensemble - Arbeau


5. virilitas

And then the justice, in fair round belly with good capon lin'd. 
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut full of wise saws and modern instances; 
and so he plays the part.

Nessun ponga speranza - organetto, harp, bass recorder - Landini (1325-1397)

Though you are young and I am old - soprano, harpsichord - Campion (1567-1620)


6. senectus

The sixth age shifts into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side; 
his youthful hose, well sav'd a world too wide for his shrunk shank; 
and his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound.

Mille regretz - soprano, tenor, bass and great bass recorders, gamba - Susato (died c.1564)

Chichilichi-Cucurucu - krummhorn trio - da Nola? (16th century)

Galliard: Weariness - dancer, tenor recorder, cornamuse, lute - Anonymous (16th century)


7. decrepitas

Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness and mere oblivion; 
sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Die Weiber mit den Flohen - soprano, krummhorns, bass recorder, lute - Senfl (c.1488-1543)

His golden locks - soprano, recorders, gamba - Dowland (1563-1626)

Two Cantigas - Alfonso X (13th century)

Como hua moller - gemshorn

Nas mentes senpre teer - hurdy-gurdy

Hymn to St. Magnus - ensemble - (12th century)



Ich spring an diesem ringe - ensemble - Lochaimer Liederbuch (mid-15th century)

In America...the seven ages of man have become preschooler, Pepsi generation, 
baby boomer, mid-lifer, empty-nester, senior citizen, and organ donor. (Bill Cosby, Time Flies)