Music for Lent: Thomas Tallis – Lamentations

I forget where I came across the link to this YouTube video recently, but I so enjoyed this version of Thomas Tallis’  Lamentations (a musical setting of the early verses from Lamentations 1, traditionally used in Tennebrae services during Holy Week).

Read more about the Lamentations and Thomas Tallis.


Here is the Latin text:

Text for Tallis’ setting of Lamentations I:

(Opening announcement)

Incipit lamentatio Ieremiae prophetae.

(from Lamentations, Chapter 1)

1:1 ALEPH. Quomodo sedet sola civitas plena populo! Facta est quasi vidua domina gentium; princeps provinciarum facta est sub tributo.

1:2 BETH. Plorans ploravit in nocte, et lacrimæ ejus in maxillis ejus: non est qui consoletur eam, ex omnibus caris ejus; omnes amici ejus spreverunt eam, et facti sunt ei inimici.

(Concluding refrain)  Ierusalem, Ierusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum


English translation:

(Opening announcement)

Here begins the Lamentation of Jeremiah the Prophet.

(from Lamentations, Chapter 1)

1:1 ALEPH. How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the cities has become a vassal.
1:2 BETH. She weeps bitterly in the night, tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, and they have become her enemies.

(Concluding refrain)  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God

From here. (where there is much more interesting background about the Lamentations)


Note the above text is only for Part 1 of Tallis’ Lamentations.  I believe the full text of both parts is from Lamentations 1:1-5

Here’s the Latin from the Vulgate

Here’s the New King James version.

2 Responses to Music for Lent: Thomas Tallis – Lamentations

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