The sands of Dee (George Alexander Macfarren)

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Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-13).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 398 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2019-06-09)  CPDL #54506:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2019-06-09).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 108 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The sands of Dee
Composer: George Alexander Macfarren
Lyricist: Charles Kingsley

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard or a cappella

First published: 1870 in Novello's Part-Song Book (2nd series), Vol. 3, no. 112
Description: Poems of Charles Kingsley No. 1

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
Across the sands of Dee.
 The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
And all alone went she.
The western tide crept up along the sand,
And o'er and o'er the sand, And round and round the sand
As far as eye could see;
The rolling mist came down and hid the land,
And never home came she.
Oh, is it weed, or fish, or floating hair,
A tress of golden hair,
A drowned maiden's hair.
Above the nets on sea
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
Among the stake on Dee.
They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
The cruel crawling foam,
The cruel hungry foam,
To her grave beside the sea.
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home,
Across the sands of Dee.