Green Singer (Mark Chapman)

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  • (Posted 2020-02-03)  CPDL #56898:         
Editor: Mark Chapman (submitted 2020-02-03).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 115 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC SA
Edition notes: Simple octave transposition and change of clefs for performance by high-voice choir rather than low. See below for comments on text copyright.
  • (Posted 2020-01-31)  CPDL #56847:         
Editor: Mark Chapman (submitted 2020-01-31).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 121 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC SA
Edition notes: The music may be freely performed etc. but the poem is copyright University of Sydney (Australia). When I spoke to them about it, they seemed pretty relaxed about non-commercial use.

General Information

Title: Green Singer
Composer: Mark Chapman
Lyricist: John Shaw Neilson

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: TTB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: Never published
Description: The setting mimics the alternating moods of the poem, and may instead be performed SSA (see above) or even SSBar. Tenors finding the low As uncomfortable can sing Es (or in one place, an F) instead, although of course there should still be some voices on the As too.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Please note that this text is Copyright University of Sydney Library and is not to be used for commercial purposes without permission

English.png English text

ALL singers have shadows
that follow like fears,
But I know a singer
who never saw tears:
A gay love—a green love—
delightsome! divine!
The Spring is that singer—
an old love of mine!

All players have shadows
and into the play
Old sorrows will saunter—
old sorrows will stay.
But here is a player
whose speech is divine!
The Spring is that player—
an old love of mine!

All singers grow heavy:
the hours as they run
Bite up all the blossoms,
suck up all the sun.
But I know a singer,
delightsome! divine!
The gay love—the green love—
an old love of mine!