Merry-go-round - (2009)
text by the composer
for medium voice and piano
Happy go merry go Sunday go round
in the park on a bright shiny morning is found
To be maybe the day isn't quite what it was
but so better than could be and all this because
Of a happy go fun day go merry go round
in the park in the light as the morning is bound
To tomorrow and sorrow
and double the trouble
that others have found after
Happy go merry go one day go round
in that park on a that bright shiny morning is found
again and again ever after again
and amen and amen and amen. Amen.
[ 3 pages, circa 1' 35" ]
The poem is a run-on sentence, so abhorred in grammar classes. I came across fragments and sketches of my work in an old cigar box some years back, with a fragment which became this text. With it comes the pleasant memory of riding the carousel as a child, and alongside it the unpleasant memory of a creative writing instructor in an early-in-my-studies college class who soundly and aggressively rejected my attempts in that time as "inartistic." I came to conclude early on that there is teaching and anti-teaching, with many in the later category, sad to say.
Therefore the text is a meddling of happy childhood memories with the warning that this joy-filled time is inexorably "bound to tomorrow" in which childhood flees because of growth and age, but also as much because adults too often chase it away. thereby often hindering creativity. [ 1 ] Yet the rewarding memories linger and may be found "again and again." This explains the "old children" in us as we age; not immaturity, so much as memory. And this is among my prayers and the meditations of my heart.
The flowing eight note patterns break occasionally into five as well as the overall pattern of six in a duple meter, to push the setting forward and forward again. As with a carousel the circle comes around several times musically before the "ride" is over.
The score for Merry-go-round 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.
[ 1 ] Specifically, I refer to the wisdom of Carl Gustav Jung, who observes so well, "The dynamic principle of fantasy is play, which belongs also to the child, and as such it appears inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable."
I have found in my own life this to be astoundingly correct, and under constant attack from those who would comment on but not exemplify the work-through-play which they critique while knowing so little of it firsthand.