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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

THE ROAD SIDE FIRE...the fine song for singing, the rare song to hear that only I remember, that only you admire

A charming pearl set to music by Ralph Vaughn Williams; it has long been one of my favorite art songs.

I have heard it performed by William Tabbert, Kenneth McKellar and Robert Merrill and of course we sang it at home as well….We sang the last verse together many many times on long car rides from Up State New York after having exhausted our repertoire of folk songs mostly Scottish and some Irish some French some Italian and some American

(I will make you brooches and toys for your delight)

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight

Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night,

I will make a palace fit for you and me

Of green days in forests, and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,

Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom;

And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white

In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be for music when no one else is near,

The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!

That only I remember, that only you admire,

Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

Also from the SONGS OF TRAVEL is

In the Highlands by R L Stevenson

In the Highlands, in the country places,

Where the old plain men have rosy faces,

And the young fair maidens quiet eyes;

Where essential silence cheers and blesses,

And forever in the hill recesses

Her more lovely music broods and dies -

O to mount again where erst I haunted;

Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted,

And the low green meadows bright with sward;

And when even dies, the million-tinted,

And the night has come, and planets glinted,

Lo, the valley hollow lamp bestarr'd!

O to dream, O to awake and wander

There, and with delight to take and render,

Through the trance of silence, quiet breath!

Lo! for there, among the flow'rs and grasses,

Only the mightier movements sounds and passes, -

Only winds and rivers, life and death.

These are the limits of art and part of our splendid ancient heritage of music and verse…

I at least will love these things till I die…

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