My Fancy - (2014)
for baritone and piano
I painted her a gushing thing,
With years perhaps a score;
A little thought to find they were
At least a dozen more;
My fancy gave her eyes of blue,
A curly, auburn head;
I came to find the blue a green
The auburn turned to red.
She boxed my ears this morning--
They tingled very much;
I own that I could wish her
A somewhat lighter touch;
And if you were to ask me how
Her charms might be improved,
I would not have them added to,
But just a few removed!
She has the bear's ethereal grace,
The bland hyena's laugh,
The footstep of the elephant,
The neck of the giraffe.
I love her still, believe me,
Though my heart its passion hides;
"She is all my fancy painted her,"
But, oh, how much besides!
4 pages, circa 3' 15"
"My Fancy" is found in "The Hunting of the Snark and Other Poems and Verses," by Lewis Carroll. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1903.
This amusing poem of three stanzas speaks of what some today might term cognitive dissonance. The setting breaks into two keys, C and A flat as the more lyrical side. A pendulum between whole tone colors and polytonal harmonies "paints" the first part of each strophe.
Thereafter, a more lyrical moment betrays second thoughts while the vocal line sings in palindromes over a more harmonically static accompaniment. Back and forth goes Carroll's comedian.
The score for My Fancy 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.