Recuerdo

Song Cycle by John Musto (b. 1954)

Word count: 349

1. Echo [sung text checked 1 time]

Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years. 

Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose [wakening]1 should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where [thirsting]2 longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more. 

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago!

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Echo", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Zaimont: "waking"
2 Zaimont: "thirsty"
Note: the text inspired the orchestral work "Symphonic Rhapsody" by Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1904

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Recuerdo [sung text checked 1 time]

We were very tired, we were very merry -
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry. 
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable -
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon; And
The whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon. 
We were very tired, we were very merry -
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
[And] you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold. 
We were very tired, we were very merry -
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry. 
We hailed "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

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Researcher for this text: John Musto

3. Last Song [sung text checked 1 time]

Goodbye, goodbye!
 [ ... ]

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