A Cradle Song - (2016)
William Butler Yeats
for soprano or mezzo-soprano and piano
angels are stooping
Above your bed;
They weary of trooping
With the whimpering dead.
God's laughing in Heaven
To see you so good;
The Sailing Seven
Are gay with his mood.
I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.
pages, circa 2' 15"
Given two poems by Yeats with this title, this was first published in
Scots Observer, April 1890, and published in the collection, The Rose,
1893, and again revised in 1901.
setting of many harmonic sostenuti and in sometimes polytonal colors
is gentle, intended as marked rubato a piacere and imaging long
rocking-like arches, is a simple song form in which the three short strophes
of the poem do not match stanzas in the setting. "The Sailing Seven" is a
reference to the Pleiades, stars in an open cluster sometimes observable in
the night sky and named after a Greek tale of the seven daughters of Atlas
and Pleione. For other settings of Yeats' texts,
The score for A Cradle Song is available as a
free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of
the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on
the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.