Oh! Thou art the Lad of my Heart, Willy, First version of op. 108 nr. 11, Hess 202 (mp3)
Performer: Mark S. Zimmer
This version is in the key of F, unlike the final version which is in the key of E-flat. There are also several other significant variations in this original version. Among these is the last note of the 13th measure of the score, which Beethoven either misread or changed from an A to a B-flat. Thomson subsequently corrected the note to A, but this produced a harmonic clash with the accompaniment, which Beethoven noted when checking the manuscript. As Dr. Barry Cooper notes in his "Beethoven Folksong Settings" at p.106, Beethoven "could not simply alter the one chord below the corrected note: an A in the melody implied tonic harmony in the second half of the bar, which meant that the tonic harmony already present in the first half would have to be changed for the sake of variety. In turn this meant that the tonic harmony in bar 15 needed alteration to match; and this change may be the cause of further revision to the harmony in bars 15-17 ...., resulting in a passage of extraordinary originality, with repeated postponement of the dominant chord that is expected at the beginning of bar 16."
Oh! Thou are the lad of my heart, Willy Oh! Thou are the lad of my heart, Willy, There's love and there's life and glee, There's a cheer in thy voice, and thy bounding step, And there's bliss in thy blithesome ee. But, oh, how my heart was tried, Willy, For little I thought to see, That the lad who won the lasses all, Would ever be won by me. Adown this path we came, Willy, T'was just at this hour of eve; And will he or will he not, I thought, My fluttering heart relieve? So oft as he paused, as we saunter'd on, T'was fear and hope and fear; But here at the wood, as we parting stood, T'was rapture his vows to hear! Ah vows so soft thy vows, Willy! Who would not, like me, be proud! Sweet lark! with thy soaring echoing song, Come down from thy rosy cloud. Come down to thy nest, and tell thy mate, But tell thy mate alone, Thou hast seen a maid, whose heart of love, Is merry and light as thine own. ----William Smyth