Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


Winter Is Coming - (2009)    
Waverley Turner Carmichael

for medium or low voice and piano


De winter days are drawin’ nigh
An’ by the fire I sets an’ sigh;
De nothe’n win’ is blowin’ cold,
Like it done in days of old.

De yaller leafs are fallin’ fas’,
Fur summer days is been an’ pas’;
The air is blowin’ mighty cold,
Like it done in days of old.

De frost is fallin’ on de gras’
An’ seem to say “Dis is yo’ las’”—
De air is blowin’ mighty cold
Like it done in days of old.

[ 2 pages, circa 1' 15" ]

Waverly Turner Carmichael


Waverley Turner Carmichael (1888–n.d.) was an American author. He was born in Snow Hill, Alabama, grew up in the South and had a minimal education until he attended summer school classes at Harvard. During the First World War he served with 92nd Infantry Division of the United States Army in France, which explains the photograph above. After the war he worked as a clerk with the United States Postal Service in Boston. A collection of his poetry was published in 1918 by The Cornhill Company as " From the Heart of a Folk: A Book of Songs." The majority of the poems, such as 'Tain't No Need o' Women Worrin', manipulate spelling and ordered meter in a manner which captures the rhythms of the Black South, and much in the manner of dialect poetry of other American authors like Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Edwin Campbell and James Weldon Johnson, as examples on this site will show.


It should be noted that there is no true consistency between dialect spellings among these and other poets because their experience with regional dialects differed from place to place. Such a lack of homogeneity is refreshing in a day wherein political correctness has declared some speech as offensive, when in fact the true offence in any truly free society is to declare speech officially offensive and even under some governments illegal.



The song setting is simple, the strophes to match the three verses, though the center strophe moves for a time to the subdominant tonal region. While the vocal line is marked semplice, a light and gracious rubato is certainly acceptable.



The score for Winter Is Coming 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.


Winter Is Coming