If I can stop one heart from breaking -
medium or low voice and piano
can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
page, circa 1' 20" ]
text is found in Dickinson's Complete
Poems, (1924). For more on Dickinson please see the additional
Because I Could Not Stop For Death.
simple, long-lined harmonic progression begun on the tonic major seven moves
simply over the span of the song to its return. Sostenuto over each
two measure phrase is noted, harp-like. The vocal range of a tenth allows
the negation, "not," to sing out at the highest point to underpin the
affirmation of the text.
The score 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.