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Airs and Fancies

Word count: 634

Song Cycle by Seymour Barab (1921 - 2014)

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1. Music, when soft voices die [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER GER RUS

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

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Martin Stock) , "Musik, wenn leise Stimmen ersterben ...", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Music, when soft voices die,	
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the belovèd's bed;
And so [thy]1 thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.


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1 Bridge: "my"

Submitted by Ted Perry

2. The oocuck [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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`The cuckoo !' cried my child, the while I slept
 [ ... ]


This text may be protected by copyright under Canadian copyright law, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

3. Weep you no more, sad fountains [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Julia Hamann) , "Tränen", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Weep you no more, sad fountains;
  What need [you]1 flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
  Heaven's sun doth gently waste!
    But my sun's heavenly eyes
      View not your weeping,
      That now lies sleeping,
    [Softly now, softly]2 lies
        Sleeping.

Sleep is a reconciling,
  A rest that peace begets;
Doth not the sun rise smiling
  When fair at [e'en]3 he sets?
    Rest you, then, rest, sad eyes!
      Melt not in weeping,
      While she lies sleeping,
    [Softly now, softly]2 lies
        Sleeping.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 van Dieren: "ye"
2 van Dieren, Holst, Moeran: "Softly, now softly"
3 Parry: "eve"; Moeran, Quilter, van Dieren: "even"; Holst: "ev'n"

Submitted by Ted Perry

4. Bread and butter [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Werther had a love for Charlotte
 Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
 She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,
 And a moral man was Werther,
And, for all the wealth of Indies,
 Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sighed and pined and ogled,
 And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
 And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
 Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person,
 Went on cutting bread and butter.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Five reasons [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the Latin

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Based on

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If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good wine -- a friend -- or being dry --
Or lest we should be by and by --
Or any other reason why.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Autumn song [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
         Laid on it for a covering,
         And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
         In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
         Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems -- not to suffer pain?

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
         Bound up at length for harvesting,
         And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Why does (s)he so long delay? [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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   By Paul, the Silentiary

Why does she so long delay?
Night is waning fast away;
Thrice have I my lamp renewed,
Watching here in solitude,
Where can she so long delay?
Where, so long delay?

Vainly now have two lamps shone;
See the third is nearly gone:
Oh that Love would, like the ray
Of that weary lamp, decay!
But no, alas, it burns still on,
Still, still, burns on.

Gods, how oft the traitress dear
Swore, by Venus, she'd be here!
But to one so false as she
What is man or deity?
Neither doth this proud one fear, --
No, neither doth she fear.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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