Background Music Loop: Greensleeves in Epcot

It’s been two weeks since Christmas and I’m starting to get emotional over the used and naked pine trees littering the side of the street, waiting to be taken to “tree heaven” as I told my husband a few days ago.

Epcot England Pavilion

The end of the holidays is always such a letdown. I’m pretty much still a little kid when it comes to prepping and squeezing the holiday spirit from every spare minute leading up to December 25. And then I try to make it last for as long as possible. (One year we left our tree up until my birthday, which is in the first week of February.)

My year-round yuletide love got me thinking. Did anyone ever notice that “Greensleeves” is part of the United Kingdom background music loop? Every time I hear it when I’m in the World Showcase, my heart goes a little pitter-patter because, well, it makes me think of Santa (!!) and twinkly lights. After I leave my short holiday daydream, I always wonder WHY it’s included. (Although I do like to think it’s a nice little tribute to me.)

The real skinny is: “Greensleeves” has been around since 1580 as an English folk tune. In 1865, William Chatterton Dix wrote a poem called “The Manger Throne” that was later set to music. “What Child Is This” was born.

Here’s a version of the song by Andy Williams:

The true lyrics are actually not that uplifting. A gentlemen who has lost his lady?

Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously.
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.

Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady greensleeves.

Your vows you’ve broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.

“Greensleeves” was a song also mentioned in Shakespeare’s works, as well as Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

Again, Epcot impresses with its consistent offering of traditional international music. Even though the true spirit of the song is one of a broken heart, the familiar melody is one that makes me feel at home in the tiny UK village (and still gets me amped up for the most wonderful time of the year).

4 thoughts on “Background Music Loop: Greensleeves in Epcot

  1. I leave a Christmas playlist on my iPhone all year for those times during the Un-Holidays when I need a quick dose of Yuletide magic.

    I vote for “Greensleeves” as the single best melody ever composed in the history of the human race.

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