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'So to the Wood Went I': Politicizing the Greenwood in Two Songs by John Dowland

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kirsten GibsonORCiD


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Figurations of woods as sites of solitude, political exile and authenticity are drawn upon in a number of John Dowland's songs. 'Can she excuse' quotes from the ballad tune Woods so wild, while 'O sweet woods' makes reference to Wanstead woods, associated with both Philip Sidney and Robert Devereux during their lifetimes. This article examines how courtly experiences of political withdrawal and exile are articulated through musical and literary references to woods in these songs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gibson K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Royal Musical Association

Year: 2007

Volume: 132

Issue: 2

Pages: 221-251

ISSN (print): 0269-0403

ISSN (electronic): 1471-6933

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1093/jrma/fkm007


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