Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness - (2010)    

Arthur Guiterman

for medium voice and piano


This text remains under copyright and is therefore not fully reproduced herein.

The tusks which clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.

The sword of Charlemagne the Just....

[ 3 pages, circa  2' 15" ]

Arthur Guiterman


The short, humorous poem was first published in Guiterman's admirable collection, Gaily the Troubadour, 1936. While the text in fully under copyright at this time, I thought it amusing enough to set it to music for my own simple joy. The full text is found in and article on the poet,  As it remains under copyright, I make the score available by fair use rules only for study, private use and amusement, and not paid public performance.



The four couplets picture different oddities, rather unrelated, and for this four differing textures accompany the strophes.



Beneath the announcement that the poet doesn't "feel so well," the middle voice at measure 49 intones the first line of the "Dies irae" in syncopation against the simple dotted quarters of the outside voices.



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.


On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness