Poems Done on a Late Night Car -
for medium voice and piano
I am The Great White Way of the city:
When you ask what is my desire, I answer:
"Girls fresh as country wild flowers,
With young faces tired of the cows and barns,
Eager in their eyes as the dawn to find my mysteries,
Slender supple girls with shapely legs,
Lure in the arch of their little shoulders
And wisdom from the prairies to cry only softly at the ashes of my
II. Used Up
Lines based on certain regrets that come with rumination
upon the painted faces of women on North Clark Street, Chicago
In the rain and wind
Like mouths of women
Beaten by the fists of
Men using them.
O little roses
And broken leaves
And petal wisps:
You that so flung your crimson
To the sun
Here is a thing my heart wishes the world had more of:
I heard it in the air of one night when I listened
To a mother singing softly to a child restless and angry in the darkness.
pages, circa 3' 45"
From his early
"Chicago Poems" published in1916, these three texts -- conjoined texts in
the manner of their presentation found together in publications -- are also
joined yet separate in this setting for medium voice and piano.
The opening gesture
with hints at syncopation and blue notes yields to lightly polytonal chords
as the first text is sung between duple and triple rhythms. The first text
is set in C with its blue notes and slow strut as at measure 13 and
The harmonic domain of C seemingly yields to E major but turns to C sharp
minor, so distant from the opening. The clear and slow triple feel is
subverted by a sometime insistence on duple gestures as rhythmic
As the second cadences in C sharp minor, the third text takes up, its
accompaniment sharing polytonally C and E, and then shifting by common tone
relation to a next section, before recurring. Themes from the previous link
to together to refer the three settings as a whole.
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 art song score.
Poems Done on a Late Night Car