Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund

Music and Texts of  GARY BACHLUND

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The Wanderer - (2005)   

Beulah May

for mezzo soprano and piano


Out of the railroad eating house 
Comes a lean brown man, 
And putting down his pack 
Sits smoking a cigarette. 
The glow lights up his sensitive Voltaire face 
Gazing moodily out on the trail: 
The blue patches under his eyes 
Show that he has not slept; 
It is evident that he has not long to live 
And that he knows it. 
He will die sooner if he smokes cigarettes, 
And that is the reason why he is smoking one. 

[ 3 pages, 3' 40" ]

This, from The Best Poems of 1923, conjures an evocative image with references to literature as well as visions of the commonplace. A small prelude evokes slowly passing time and a sense of suspension. The voice then intones the abject loneliness of this man, the wanderer, in a form reminiscent of a blues structure.

The score for The Wanderer 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.

The Wanderer