Six Songs for High Voice

Song Cycle by Ned Rorem (b. 1923)

Word count: 572

1. Pippa's song [sung text checked 1 time]

The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven --
All's right with the world!

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Denise Ritter Bernardini) , "L'anno in primavera", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Sometimes titled "Pippa's Song" in later editions.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Cradle song [sung text checked 1 time]

O my deir hert, young Jesus sweit,
Prepare thy creddil in my spreit,
And I sall rock thee in my hert
And never mair from thee depart.

But I sall praise thee evermoir
With sangis sweit unto thy gloir;
The knees of my heart sall I bow,
And sing that richt Balulalow!

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Based on

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Note: freely adapted from stanzas 13 and 14 of Martin Luther's text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Song for a girl [sung text not yet checked]

Young I am and yet unskilled
How to make a lover yield,
How to keep, [or]1 how to gain,
When to love, and when to feign. 

Take me, take me, some of you,
While I yet am young and true;
[Ere I can my soul disguise,
Heave my breasts, and roll my eyes.

Stay not till I learn the way, 
How to lie, and to betray; 
He that has me first, is blest, 
For I may deceive the rest. 

Could I find a blooming youth,
Full of love and full of truth,
Brisk, and of a jaunty mien,
I should long to be fifteen.]2

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hook: "and"
2 Hook:

Stay not till I learn the way
How to fib and how betray,
E'er I can my thoughts disguise,
Force a blush or roll my eyes.
Take me, take me, some of you,
While I yet am young and true.

Could I find a blooming youth,
Full of love and full of truth,
Of honest mind and noble mien,
I should long to be sixteen.
Take me, take me, some of you,
While I yet am young and true.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Rondelay [sung text not yet checked]

Chloe found Amyntas lying
All in tears upon the plain;
Sighing to himself and crying,
Wretched I, to love in vain!
Kiss me, dear, before my dying;
Kiss me once, and ease my pain!
Sighing to himself and crying,
Wretched I, to love in vain:
Ever scorning and denying
To reward your faithful swain:
Kiss me, dear, before my dying:
Kiss me once, and ease my pain!
Ever scorning and denying
To reward your faithful swain.

Chloe, laughing at his crying,
Told him that he lov'd in vain.
Kiss me, dear, before my dying:
Kiss me once, and ease my pain!
Chloe, laughing at his crying,
Told him that he loved in vain:
But repenting, and complying,
When he kiss'd, she kiss'd again:
Kiss'd him up, before his dying;
Kiss'd him up, and eas'd his pain.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. In a gondola [sung text checked 1 time]

The moth's kiss, first! 
Kiss me as if you made me believe
You were not sure, this eve,
How my face, your flower, had pursed
Its petals up; so, here and there
You brush it, till I grow aware
Who wants me, and wide ope I burst. 

The bee's kiss, now! 
Kiss me as if you enter'd gay
My heart at some noonday,
A bud that dares not disallow
The claim, so all is render'd up,
And passively its shatter'd cup
Over your head to sleep I bow.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Song to a fair young lady, going out of town in the spring [sung text checked 1 time]

Ask not the cause why sullen Spring
So long delays her flowers to bear;
Why warbling birds forget to sing,
And winter storms invert the year:
Chloris is gone; and fate provides
To make it Spring where she resides.

Chloris is gone, the cruel fair;
She cast not back a pitying eye:
But left her lover in despair
To sigh, to languish, and to die:
Ah! how can those fair eyes endure
To give the wounds they will not cure!

Great God of Love, why hast thou made
A face that can all hearts command,
That all religions can invade,
And change the laws of every land?
Where thou hadst plac'd such power before,
Thou shouldst have made her mercy more.

When Chloris to the temple comes,
Adoring crowds before her fall;
She can restore the dead from tombs
And every life but mine recall.
I only am by Love design'd
To be the victim for mankind.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]