Break now my heart, and die
Free Vocal Sheet Music

Free vocal sheet music from the English Renaissance: "Break now my heart, and die..." by Thomas Campion.

This brisk minor song can be sung by male or female vocalists, by substituting "he" for "she," and "his" for "her," etc. 

I first heard this energetic English Renaissance song in college.

A very beautiful performance:

This piano accompaniment was adapted from lute tablature by Frederick Keel:

English Renaissance music
Elizabethan music

Please scroll down the page for the links to the vocal PDFs.

Difficult passages in this song

The range of "Break now my heart, and die" is an octave plus a third (a 10th). Though the melody is made up primarily of scale steps, there are some tricky thirds for the singer because the chord changes are frequent.

That also makes the piano accompaniment a bit of a handful. You are going to want a pianist who is good with chords for this one -- don't let it drag!

Shifting meter

The time signature changes in measures 18 through 20 require careful counting... they will not feel natural at first.

Here is another video, VERY SLOW, but rather beautiful:

Interpreting this song

At every phrase, the singer first despairs at the futility of his love, and then reconsiders why he should persevere.

He chides himself that the loss (of her love) is surely an easy burden if all it takes is a smile to fix it! Indeed, someone else would be just as good, if she were as pretty.

What is the singer TALKING about?

In the second verse, the singer alludes to classical mythology, which is much less familiar to our modern students than it would have been to singers of Elizabethan music of the English Renaissance.

"The Grecian" who was "enchanted in all parts but the heel", the mighty hero Achilles, was finally brought down by an arrow -- to his heel. So might the heart of the singer's beloved eventually be touched, in spite of "ribs of steele".

Non-standard spelling

What's wrong with Thomas Campion's spelling?

The old style of spelling might be confusing to non-English speakers, or even for those who speak and read English well, but for whom English is not the first language.

This song was written before spelling was standardized; the poet John Donne, a contemporary of Thomas Campion, enjoyed trying out different spellings of his own name.  

A famous poem of his, talking about his secret marriage to the daughter of his employer, which resulted in their impoverishment for many years, goes like this: 

John Donne,
Ann Donne,
Undone.

I hope you and your students enjoy this beautifully-crafted song, "Breake now my heart, and die," from Elizabethan England!  




The links to the vocal music:



Download free vocal sheet music "Break now my heart" in Am



Download Elizabethan music in Key of Em



Download music from the English Renaissance in Gm 








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

SingTheBibleStory.com clickable logo link

Recent Articles

  1. Kate Emht's Piano Music, at Music-for-Music-Teachers

    Kate Emht is a piano teacher in the United States. See what she composes and arranges for her students!

    Read More

  2. Piano Chord Patterns for Beginners

    Piano chord patterns for beginners to learn broken chords. Help them gain EASE & familiarity with this musical tool!

    Read More

  3. Canon Sheet Music for Beginner Piano Students

    Canon sheet music for your early piano student. The newest version may be THE EASIEST CANON arrangement in the world! Six different versions, & a duet secondo.

    Read More

  4. Staff Paper PDFs - Download Free Staff Paper

    Staff paper PDFs for your music lessons, FREE. Big horizontal & vertical staff pages with & without clef symbols! Download printable staff paper of all types

    Read More

  5. Classical Piano Sheet Music - a Collection of Short Introductions

    Classical piano sheet music - 1-page intros. Check out the newest addition - Hint: Now there are TWO intros to the Moonlight Sonata!!!

    Read More

  6. Sweet Betsy From Pike Guitar Chords & Tabs

    Sweet Betsy From Pike guitar chords, tabs, and lyrics will make this an EASY song for your beginner guitar player to learn! Check out the free sheet music here.

    Read More

  7. Sweet Betsy from Pike Easy Piano Sheets & Worksheet for Beginners

    Sweet Betsy from Pike is a great old-fashioned song with a story to sing! Easy piano arrangements, lead sheets, and a worksheet too!

    Read More

  8. Chopsticks Music for Piano - Easy Duets and Solos!

    Chopsticks music is easy to play by rote - incorrectly! NOW with Parts 2 & 3. Sharpen up your students' abilities with duets & solos with accurate melodies.

    Read More

  9. Free Printable Piano Music In the Hall of the Mountain King

    This EASY free printable piano music for beginners will be an excellent first exposure to the wonderfully spooky piece "In the Hall of the Mountain King!"

    Read More

  10. Choosing a Piano Teacher - HOW?

    Choosing a piano teacher may seem to be a difficult task. Follow these SIMPLE GUIDELINES for success.

    Read More

The Story of Esther - a Bible opera!

Queen Esther in the Bible

This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This",  available as a digital downloadtells the riveting story of the time when  Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a  brave young queen risked her life to save her people.

A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!

This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.


Just the Black Keys, a piano song book for young beginners.

Just the Black Keys

This book is available as a digital download  from this site.  Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.

It is also available from Amazon as a paperback!

This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.

And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!"  They will be spending more time at the piano.

The Adventures of Tonsta, Volume 1, is a book about a young boy travelling over mountains and fjords from village to village, encountering trolls and helping folk in distress.

The Adventures of Tonsta

A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls. 

The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.  

With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.

Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!

Available at Amazon

Sign up for "Take Note!" to see what's new every month.


About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.