Merry-go-round - (2009)
text by the composer
for medium voice and piano
Happy go merry go Sunday go round
in the park on a bright shiny morning
To be maybe the day
isn't quite what it was
but so better than could be and all this because
Of a happy go fun day go
merry go round
in the park in the light as the morning is bound
To tomorrow and sorrow
and double the trouble
that others have found after
Happy go merry go one day go round
that park on a that bright shiny morning is found
again and again ever after again
and amen and amen and amen. Amen.
[ 3 pages, circa 1' 35" ]
The poem is a run-on sentence, so abhorred in grammar classes. I came across
fragments and sketches of my work in an old cigar box some years back, with
a fragment which became this text. With it comes the pleasant memory of
riding the carousel as a child, and alongside it the unpleasant memory of a
creative writing instructor in an early-in-my-studies college class who
soundly and aggressively rejected my attempts in that time as "inartistic."
I came to conclude early on that there is teaching and anti-teaching, with
many in the later category, sad to say.
Therefore the text is a meddling of happy childhood memories with the
warning that this joy-filled time is inexorably "bound to tomorrow" in which
childhood flees because of growth and age, but also as much because adults
too often chase it away. thereby often hindering creativity. [ 1 ]
Yet the rewarding memories linger and may be found "again and again." This
explains the "old children" in us as we age; not immaturity, so much as
memory. And this is among my prayers and the meditations of my heart.
The flowing eight note patterns break occasionally into five as well as the
overall pattern of six in a duple meter, to push the setting forward and
forward again. As with a carousel the circle comes around several times
musically before the "ride" is over.
The score for Merry-go-round 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.
[ 1 ] Specifically,
I refer to the wisdom of Carl Gustav Jung, who observes so well, "The
dynamic principle of fantasy is play, which belongs also to the child, and
as such it appears inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But
without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever come to birth.
The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable."
found in my own life this to be astoundingly correct, and under constant
attack from those who would comment on but not exemplify the
work-through-play which they critique while knowing so little of it