Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund

 

Music and Texts of  GARY BACHLUND

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To Women As Far As I'm Concerned - (1991)     

D .H. Lawrence

originally for tenor and piano


to certain women I have known

 

The feelings I don't have I don't have.
The 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 altogether.

[ 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