Travel - (2013)
Edna St. Vincent Millay
medium voice and piano
railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
All night there isn't a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.
My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
No matter where it's going.
pages, circa 2' 30"
text is found in Second April, New York: Mitchell Kennerley,
published in 1921. The text came to my attention, as a friend of my
brother's read it to him before the screening of an old film by enthusiasts
of collecting. In addition to film collection, my brother, Gordon, has
served Travel Town in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, and on the Board of
several rail enthusiasts groups. The wanderlust for travel, and especially
by train, is within many of us, and nostalgia for this form of travel is
shared by many.
setting is minimalist, a simple succession of chords oft repeated, to
accompany simple arches of melody. The augmented chord as if heard off
in the distance is intended to suggest one of the old tunings of steam
whistles. Related and lightly more dissonant successions alter the mood for
a moment, before a return to the simplicity of the first section.
The score for
Travel 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.