Hubert du Plessis has composed 77 songs, thirteen using English texts: poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (3), John Fletcher (3), Shakespeare (3) and John Webster (2), as well as anonymous poems (2). The composer has now passed his 84th year. The aim of this article is to investigate the contexts of the genesis and background of Du Plessis's English songs. Du Plessis was stimulated to use English poems as material for song setting by the thorough literary basis that he acquired during the three years he studied English for his BA at the University of Stellenbosch (1940-1942), and his sojourn in the English surroundings of Grahamstown (1944-1951) and London (1951-1954). His first composition teacher, the Englishman William Henry Bell, also influenced him greatly.