The Season of Singing

Song Cycle by Matthew King (b. 1967)

Word count: 641

1. A Song of Spiritual Creatures [sung text checked 1 time]

Millions of spiritual Creatures walk the Earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night: how often from the steep
Of echoing Hill or Thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air.
Sole, or responsive each to others note
Singing their great Creator: oft in bands
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
With Heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.


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

  • FRI Frisian (Geart van der Meer) , Bk 4, lines 682-691, copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. A Song of Byrds [sung text checked 1 time]

        all which isn't singing is mere talking
        and all talking's talking to oneself
           (E E Cummings: from poem 32 of '73 poems')

Reasons briefly set down by the author, to perswade every
one to learn to sing.

First, it is a knowledge safely taught and quickly learned,
where there is a good Master, and an apt Scholler.

        To shallow rivers, to whose falls
        Melodious birds sing madrigals
        There will we make our beds of roses
        And a thousand fragrant posies
        (William Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3, Scene 1)

The exercise of singing is delightfull to Nature, and good to
preserve the health of Man.

It doth strengthen all parts of the brest and doth open up the

It is a singular good remedie for stuttering and stammering in
the speech.

        The ousel cock, so black of hue,
        With orange-tawny bill,
        The throstle with his note so true,
        The wren with little quill.
        The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
        The plain-song cuckoo grey,
        Whose note full many a man doth mark,
        And dares not answer nay.
        (William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 1)

It is the best means to procure a perfect pronunciation and to
make a good Orator.

It is the only way to know where Nature hath bestowed the
benefit of a good voice: which gift is so rare, as there is not
one among a thousand, that hath it.

        christ but they're few
        all (beyond win
        or lose) good true
        beautiful things
        god how he sings
        the robin (who
        'll be silent in
        a moon or two)
        (E E Cummings: poem 33 from '73 poems')

And in many, that excellent gift is lost because they want Art
to express Nature.

There is not any musicke of instruments whatsoever,
comparable to that which is made of the voices of men,
where the voices are good, and the same well sorted and

The better the voice is, the meeter it is to honour and
serve God there-with: and the voice of man is chiefly to be
employed to that end.

"Omnes Spiritus Laudes Dominum"

Since Singing is so good a thing,
I wish all men would learn to sing.

(William Byrd: Preface to "Psalms, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie" 1588)

This text is made up of selections from the following poems and texts:
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Laughing song [sung text checked 1 time]

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it; 

When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene;
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing "Ha ha he!"

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of "Ha ha he!"


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

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Песня смеха", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. A song (without and with accompaniment) [sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this is a multi-text setting

Rare is the voice itself: but when we sing
To th' lute or viol, then 'tis ravishing.


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So smooth, so sweet, so silv'ry is thy voice,
As, could they hear, the Damned would make no noise,
But listen to thee, walking in thy chamber,
Melting melodious words to Lutes of Amber.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised [feet]1 of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.2


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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Warren: "foot"
2 Warren here repeats the firt line.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. A song of love [sung text checked 1 time]

My beloved spake and said to me,
"Arise, my Love, my fair one, and come away.
See! The winter is past;
The rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth,
The season of singing is come;
And the cooing of turtledoves is heard in our land.
The blossoming vines with their tender grapes
Give out their sweet fragrance.
Arise my fair one and come away."


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]