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Music Texts That I Particularly Like

The purpose of this page is to share with you some of the texts that have been the backdrop for some of my absolute favorite choral music, and with words like these, I bet you can only imagine what the music is like!

(Note: I have not heard this first set of text actually sung, but rather spoken to a background of music in Jack Stamp's Canticle)

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep, (My best guess for the author is Mary Frye, circa 1932)

"Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep

I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow

I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain

When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the soft stars that shine at night

Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die"

 

Sing Me to Heaven, music by Daniel Gawthrop, words by Jane Griner

"In my heart's sequestered chambers lie truths stripped of poets' gloss

Words alone are vain and vacant, and my heart is mute

In response to aching silence, memory summons half-heard voices

And my soul finds primal eloquence, and wraps me in song

If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby

If you would win my heart, sing me a love song

If you would mourn me and bring me to God, sing me a requiem, sing me to Heaven

Touch in me all love and passion, pain and pleasure

Touch in me grief and comfort, love and passion, pain and pleasure

Sing me a lullaby, a love song, a requiem

Love me, comfort me, bring me to God

Sing me a love song, sing me to Heaven"

Copyright 1991 by Dunstan House. Reprinted by permission

 

Wedding Cantata, music by Daniel Pinkham, text from the New Testament: Song of Songs

Movement 1

"Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away

For lo, the winter is past and the rain is over and gone

The clouds appear on the earth

The time for the singing of birds is come

And the voice of the turtle is heard in the land

Whither is my beloved gone, o thou fairest among women

Whither is thy beloved turned aside, that we may seek him with thee 

My beloved is gone down into his garden

To the beds of spices to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies

I am my beloved's, and he is mine"

Movement 2

"Many waters cannot quench love"

Movement 3

"Awake O North wind and come thou South

Blow upon my garden that the spices may flow out

Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits"

Movement 4

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart

As a seal upon thine arm

For love is strong, Amen"

 

A Red, Red Rose, music by James Mulholland, text by Robert Burns

"O my luve's like a red, red rose, that's newly sprung in June

O my luve's like the melody, that's sweetly played in tune

As fair art thou, my bonny lass, so deep in luve am I

I will luve thee still, my dear, till all the seas gang dry

I will luve thee still, my dear, while the sands of life shall run

Till the seas gang dry my dear, and rocks melt with the sun

As fair art thou, my bonny lass, so deep in luve am I

I will come again, my luve, tho' it were ten thousand mile, I will come again"

 

Water Night, music by Eric Whitacre, words by Octavio Paz

"Night with the eyes of a horse that trembles in the night

Night with eyes of water in the field asleep is in your eyes

A horse that trembles is in your eyes of secret water

Eyes of shadow water, eyes of well water, eyes of dream water, silence and solitude

Two little animals moon led drink in your eyes, drink in those waters

If you open your eyes, night opens doors of musk

The secret kingdom of the water opens, flowing from the center of the night

And if you close your eyes, a river, a silent and beautiful current

Fills you from within, flows forward, darkens you

Night brings its wetness to beaches in your soul"

 

Bright Journeys, music by Daniel Gawthrop, text by Jane Griner

"In light and life abundant all blessings, love, and joy distill to one

I love you:

And in that breath when dawn turns dark to midnight blue, I wake to you.

Prescient gray stays waning starlight to trace your face in silver.

Cold light warmed by soft breath, closed eyes follow hidden dreams.

Silently I call you back from night's solitary journey, and we are one.

In your eyes, in ever changing plays of light and life- I am possessed.

In your hands, in passion's play defined and lifted- I am made whole.

In your voice, your laughter, your delight- I am restored.

And in the dawn, I am renewed, reclaimed from darkness and reborn.

In light and life abundant all blessings, love, and joy distill to one

I love you.

Shadows creep to shrouded havens as sunlight summons me to labor

And you my day illumine

Transmuting hueless glare to stained glass splendor, you enfold me in light that is love given birth

Light that is knowledge, light from the light

Thus defined in jeweled glory I am freed from earthbound vision to ardent dreams and glowing passions.

But in your face is sunlight's promise, love's own grace and shining honor

And in your eyes the light of laughter, light that eases, light that heals.

In your body the warmth of children, kindled sparks of life's renewal.

In you, bright friend of daylight hours, rest all the gifts of light and love

And caught in quickened radiance is the promise of a perfect day.

In light and life abundant all blessings, love, and joy distill to one

I love you.

Dusk grays sunset's gaudery and draws behind it cool phantoms of the night.

You are sanctuary;

Enwrapped in golden candlelight I find sweet refuge.

Discord fades as ancient airs weave runes of quiet joy.

Sweetest now are daylight's melodies, replayed softly in your face

From this sure haven comes purest counterpoint, two unbound voices, more glorious as one.

O dearest love, sing me your song, my heart, unguarded, seeks your lead.

Sing to me all love and hope, your joy, your pain, your light and laughter,

And I will sing you home to shelter, certain welcome, certain love

As one we will enter into night, and beyond the dark into the dawn."

Copyright 1994 by Dunstan House. Reprinted by permission

 

All my Trials, music by Norman Luboff, words from Traditional Bahamian Spiritual

"If religion was a thing that money could buy

The rich would live but the poor would die

All my trials lord, soon be over

Too late my brothers, too late but never mind

All my trials lord, soon be over

Now hush little baby, don't you cry

You know that man was born to die

All my trials lord, soon be over

Too late my brothers, too late but never mind

All my trials lord, soon be over"