To Women As Far As I'm Concerned
D .H. Lawrence
originally for tenor and piano
to certain women I have known
The feelings I don't have I don't have.
feeling I don't have, I won't say I have.
The feelings you say
you have, you don't have.
The feelings you would like us both to
have, we neither of us have.
The feelings people ought to have,
they never have.
If people say they've got feelings, you may be
pretty sure they haven't got them.
So if you want either of us to
feel anything at all
You'd better abandon all ideas of feelings
[ 2 pages, circa 1' 00" ]
D. H. Lawrence
This setting of Lawrence's quite
aggressive words is dedicated to a woman -- anonymous by reason of
courtesy -- who aggressively pursued her issue of "feelings" with
men of her acquaintance and in her family and with me as it the
topic were a battering ram to knock down the "opposition" to her
getting her own, often strong-willed way. Her lot in life came to be
that many men within her circle felt nothing at all for her in the
end. I am among that number, and therefore thank the poet for his
unambiguous statement which I may sing aloud with my own voice too.
tessitura for tenor
The setting begins simply, and the
alternation between the 6/8 and 3/4 "feeling" -- a perfectly normal
hemiola -- in this instance beats out a theme meant to underscore
obstinacy. The vocal line rises to the negation of "feelings" which
women -- plural, in Lawrence's text as in my own experience --
assure men they have, when they know full well they do not. "Don't
tell me what to think" is a line from a scene in a play with just
this theme; Lawrence has created a wonderful poem to capture it all
for a solo singer. It is meant to be interpreted aggressively.
This short setting with a fermata,
and then a snippet from the opening as hard punctuation -- an
exclamation point marked with triple forte.
tessitura for baritone
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.
To Women, As Far As I'm Concerned - tenor
To Women, As Far As I'm Concerned - baritone