My Fairy - (2014)
for medium voice and piano
have a fairy by my side
Which says I must not sleep,
When once in pain I loudly cried
It said "You must not weep."
If, full of mirth, I smile and grin,
It says "You must not laugh."
When once I wished to drink some gin,
It said "You must not quaff".
When once a meal I wished to taste
It said "You must not bite"
When to the wars I went in haste
It said "You must not fight".
"What may I do?" at length I cried,
Tired of the painful task.
The fairy quietly replied,
And said "You must not ask".
Moral: "You mustn't."
3 pages, circa 2' 40"
Detail of illustration by E. Gertrude Thomson, for Carroll's collection,
Three Sunsets and Other Poems.
This little poem was written when Dodgson was thirteen, and not
commercially published in his lifetime. As with other of his rhymes,
there is an edge to such a seemingly sweet image. That edge is
emblematic of the restrictions of Victorian society in which he lived
and functioned. Because of this the song setting has a dark edge. For
other settings of Carroll's texts, click
The contrary motion of the rising parallel triads and descending bass
line meet at the tri-tone. The short stanzas are flavored with polytonal
relationships, with changes of tempi throughout.
The score for
My Fairy 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