Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


Warm Summer Sun - (2007)    

Mark Twain

for medium voice and piano


Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.

[ 1 page, circa 1' 10" ]

Mark Twain Sculpture in Library Park, Monrovia


On a plaque next to the statue by sculptor Gary Price which is found in Library Park, Monrovia, Mark Twain is quoted, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." This loving epitaph, however, is no parody as were other epitaphs but was written by the Mark Twain (whose given name was Samuel Clemens) on the tombstone of his wife, Olivia L. Langdon, whom he married in 1870 and who died in Florence in 1904. Both of them are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, New York.


An example of a parody of such epitaphs, much in vogue in that time as perhaps a way of minimizing the pain of death and loss, is Twain's Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec'd.


The setting for this loving tribute to Mark Twain's wife is simple, nostalgic, and the vocal line arching in character. Most delicate lifting and falling portamenti are suggested.



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.


Warm Summer Sun