Doll's boy's asleep - E. E.Cummings



Doll's boy 's asleep  - (2005)  

E. E. Cummings

for high or medium voice and piano


Doll's boy 's asleep
under a stile
he sees eight and twenty
ladies in a line

the first lady
says to nine ladies
his lips drink water
but his heart drinks wine

the tenth lady
says to nine ladies
they must chain his foot
for his wrist's too fine

the nineteenth
says to nine ladies
you take his mouth
for his eyes are mine.

Doll's boy 's asleep
under the stile
for every mile the feet go
the heart goes nine


[ 3 pages, circa 2' 00" ]



This text is marked as number V of a set of "Songs" by Cummings, from the anthology, Tulips and Chimneys of 1923.



This poem of five stanzas tells of a dream of "ladies" dreamt by Doll's "boy." Shall one imagine him an adult with adult dreams, as the poet might have expressed of himself? An adolescent with adolescent dreams? An elderly man, for all men dream their dreams, as time lasses? The two-part accompaniment is an invention, in the sense of an independent dialogue between voices, exchanging a theme in related "same note" tonal domains.




The score for A Banjo Song 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.