Based on the dedication of his book of madrigals published in 1599 it seems most likely that Bennet was most likely born sometime between 1575 and 1580 and that he came from the north-west of England. Of the seventeen madrigals present in the 1599 volume no less than six are taken from other collections and three of those six had first been published the preceding year – Bennet clearly had his finger on the English musical pulse. He plainly knew what people wanted and worked to give it to them you can hear echoes of Weelkes, Wilbye, and Morley in his works while Weepe O mine eyes very clearly takes Dowland’s Flow, my teares as a model. It’s a lovely piece of music full of English renaissance angst with a text uses tides as a metaphor for grief and that does indeed ebb and flow like tides as the poet bewails his lot. It sounds unbearably depressing but somehow it always puts a cheerful grin on my face. Enjoy :-).
Video Source: Bennet | Weep, o mine eyes [á 4; The Cambridge Singers – John Rutter] – YouTube Published on 23 Sep 2015 by Andrea Scalia.
Text: Weep, o mine eyes
Weep, O mine eyes and cease not,
alas, these your spring tides methinks increase not.
O when begin you
to swell so high that I may drown me in you?