Greenwood Tree part 2: Development

In William Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It, the character Amiens sings the following words:

“Under the greenwood tree, 

who loves to lie with me

and turn his merry note 

unto the sweet bird's throat —

come hither, come hither, come hither:

here shall he see 

no enemy 

but winter and rough weather.”

I first read those words when I was invited to compose the incidental music for a production of As You Like It. This text was one of the songs I needed to set, and I was immediately struck by the words of the refrain. What a blessing that is: “no enemy but winter and rough weather”!

A few summers ago I created the music for what became the title track of this CD. For a while a version of Under the Greenwood Tree existed that included my long-ago theater setting. Ultimately I took out nearly all of my theater music, keeping only a brief quote at the end of the piano piece. But to me the piece still carries the meaning of Shakespeare’s words, even though the music that accompanied those words is no longer included.

The CD is named Under the Greenwood Tree because that is the blessing my music is bringing to you: to see no enemy but winter and rough weather.

Under the Greenwood Tree — songs of home and shelter — is now available at for just $15.

Buy it, and then just relax into the music. Let it be a doorway to silence for you.

But why a doorway to silence?

to be continued...

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