Song Lyric Sunday – August 16 2020 – Clear or Cloudy – and now for something completely different!

song-lyric-sundayJim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. I am almost certain that my choice today will count amongst the latter!

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

Most people, even if they couldn’t say exactly who Sting was, would recognise some of his music. Some will be familiar with his early work with The Police  where he was the lead vocalist, bass guitarist, and main songwriter. The band sold over 75 million records, making them one of the best selling bands of all time.

Sting has also had a hugely successful solo career, and has written and performed in a musical, The Last Ship, inspired by Sting’s own childhood experiences and the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear where he grew up.

Not content with this, he has also collaborated with various artists and musicians on multiple projects, worked on films, sung at President Obama’s inauguration and had his brain scanned whilst performing his music!

In October 2006, he released an album entitled Songs from the Labyrinth featuring the music of John Dowland (an Elizabethan-era composer) and accompaniment from Bosnian lute player Edin Karamazov. Sting’s interpretation of this English Renaissance composer and his cooperation with Edin Karamazov brought recognition in classical music.

Here he is singing………..

Clear or Cloudy

The lyrics are a little olde worlde, I suspect it is to help Sting in his enunciation? You may have noted that he is reading the music as he sings. It is obviously a little complicated!

Cleare or cloudie sweet as April showring, 
Smooth or frowning so is hir face to mee, 
Pleasd or smiling like milde May all flowring, 
When skies blew silke and medowes carpets bee, 
Hir speeches notes of that night bird that singeth, 
Who thought all sweet yet jarring notes outringeth. 

Hir grace like June, when earth and trees bee trimde, 
In best attire of compleat beauties height, 
Hir love againe like sommers daies bee dimde, 
With little cloudes of doubtfull constant faith, 
Hir trust hir doubt, like raine and heat in Skies, 
Gently thundring, she lightning to mine eies. 

Sweet sommer spring that breatheth life and growing, 
In weedes as into herbs and flowers, 
And sees of service divers sorts in sowing, 
Some haply seeming and some being yours, 
Raine on your herbs and flowers that truly serve, 
And let your weeds lack dew and duly starve.

and here singing Come Again

and for anyone who is interested in the derivatives of the Lute, here is a very good introduction.


As a late addition I found this alternative version of the song. Quite an interesting comparison.

23 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – August 16 2020 – Clear or Cloudy – and now for something completely different!

  1. Sting has a lot of talent and he is not afraid to venture into newer sounds, or older. You have some real lovely music here today Peter. That Baroque Theorbo is a weird instrument and the video was very informative. The Cécile Cardinot song was really nice also.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve liked some of Sting’s pieces in the past, particularly the tracks he recorded on behalf of the Amazon Rainforest back in the 90s (Yanamamo, I think it was called – or that could have been just one of the tracks). Wonderful achievement to sing those 16th century pieces, and the lute is a lovely instrument, but I think Cecile Cardinot’s beautiful voice gets my vote here.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We used the tape in geography lessons when we were teaching about deforestation. The kids loved the actual song Yanamamo.
        Thanks for the youtube link Peter. I’ll have a look.

        Liked by 1 person

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