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. Fiddle Sheet Music for Beginners: Scottish Trio "Ale is Dear"

    Fiddle sheet music for beginners from Scotland "Ale is Dear" arranged for violin trio! This free & EASY ensemble is catchy and fun to play!

    Read More

  2. Deep In The Heart of Texas Sheet Music, Lyrics, Chords & Tabs

    Deep in the Heart of Texas, sheet music for piano duet partners. EASY primo and accessible secondo with bouncy chords make this a VERY FUN DUET!

    Read More

  3. Beginner Piano Songs - Found a Peanut!

    Beginner piano songs for young kids are even EASIER when the tune is familiar, and the words are fun or even silly! "Found a Peanut" fits the bill.

    Read More

  4. God is Good Lyrics and Sheet Music

    God is So Good lyrics and sheet music, now with two new versions. This simple and sweet hymn is perfect for beginning musicians.

    Read More

  5. Ants Go Marching Lyrics & Sheet Music

    The Ants Go Marching lyrics & sheet music for beginning piano. This lead sheet is EASY to read, with a single melody line and chord symbols. Very fun!

    Read More

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

    Chopsticks music is easy to play by rote - incorrectly! Sharpen up your students' abilities with duet & solo sheets showing chords & accurate melodies.

    Read More

  7. Storybook Love - "The Princess Bride" Movie Soundtrack Music

    Storybook Love - Mark Knopfler's "The Princess Bride" movie soundtrack music is one of the prettiest movie themes ever. Now in the key of Am/C as well as Bm/D!

    Read More

  8. Printable Piano Music What Do You Do With a Drunken or GRUMPY Sailor

    What Do You Do with a GRUMPY (or Drunken) Sailor, now with an EASY lead sheet! Free printable piano music that may be your student's favorite for a long time!

    Read More

  9. Raggle Taggle Gypsies

    The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies is an exciting song for your singers! Your piano players will like it too. It is an old song, with a catchy melody easy to learn.

    Read More

  10. Easy Piano Sheet Music Free for Kids The Snake Charmer with Chords

    Easy piano sheet music FREE, The Snake Charmer, now with an easier-to-read arrangement just for young, socially distant students! Mysterious-sounding & FUN.

    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 attempted genocide of the Jews in ancient Persia, and the brave young queen who risked her life to change the king's mind and save her people.

A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theatre production, or a class of Sunday School 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.