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The LiederNet Archive

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Four Songs

Word count: 156

Song Cycle by Emma Lou Diemer (b. 1927)

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1. Strings in the earth and air [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE HUN POL

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Strings in the earth and air 
  Make music sweet; 
Strings by the river where 
  The willows meet. 

There's music along the river 
  [For Love wanders there,]1
Pale [flowers]1 on his mantle, 
  Dark leaves on his hair. 

All softly playing, 
  With head to [the]3 music bent, 
And fingers straying 
  Upon an instrument.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 not set by Berio.
2 Coulthard: "flow'rs"
3 omitted by Coulthard

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The caller

Language: English

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[--- This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. ---]

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. One perfect rose [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
    All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet --
    One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
    "My fragile leaves," it said, "his heart enclose."
Love long has taken for his amulet
    One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
    One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
    One perfect rose.


First published in Life, January 4, 1923

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Comment [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song
 [ ... ]


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.
First published in New York World, August 16, 1925

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