First published in 1962, John Stevens’ book examines the complex interplay between lyrical and musical compositions in the courts of Henry VII and VIII. One of the persistent problems for the reader of an English lyric is this: was the poem meant to be sung? and if so, how did music affect the writing, and how should it affect our reading of the poem? Stevens aims to answer these questions by challenging the notion of a traditional union between music and verse. He examines late medieval ideas about music and poetry and the impact of the Reformation on them, and uses the social information about music and musicians to interpret the evidence of the early Tudor songbooks. This book is supplemented by four appendices containing the texts of all the poems in the three main Tudor songbooks together with information about musical settings and related poems, an index of selected songs, a list of sources, and a bibliography of relevant books and articles. It is hoped that this volume will appeal to practising musicians and scholars, as well as anyone for whom music is a continuing intellectual interest and a pleasure.