Nine Songs


 Betty Roe

Words by:

 1. Charles Causley 

 2. Walter de la Mare 

 3. Translated from the Polish by H E Kennedy and S Uminska 

 4. George Peele (1556-1596) 

 5. Stella Gibbons 

 6. Leonard Clark 

 7. T E Brown 

 8. Edward Storey 

 9. Anonymous (15th century)

Dates of composition:

 1. 1966

 4. 1968


 Thames Publishing (1993)


 Medium Voice and Piano


 around 3' each

Vocal Range(s):

 Medium voice


 Art songs

Nine Songs (cover)1. Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience

2. Two Gardens

3. Lullaby

4. Hot Sun, Cool Fire

A piano reduction of the original for Soprano and Viol Consort.  The text comes from the oening of George Peele's play, The Love of King David and fair Bethsabe (written ca. 1588, printed 1599).

He [David] draws a curtain and discovers Bethsabe with her maid bathing over a spring. She sings and David sits above viewing her;

Hot sun, cool fire, tempered with sweet air,

Black shade, fair nurse, shadow my white hair.

Shine, sun; burn, fire; breathe, air, and ease me;

Black shade, fair nurse, shroud me and please me.

Shadow, my sweet nurse, keep me from burning;

Make not my glad cause cause of mourning.

Let not my beauty's fire

Inflame unstaid desire,

Nor pierce any bright eye

That wandereth lightly.

5. Lullaby for a Baby Toad

6. Morning and Afternoon

Dedicated to Fred Partington

7. My Garden

8. Distances

9. This Enders Night

Written for Peter Pears. Top note g#'

Tempo: Quasi recit, con moto

The music is modal evoking the medieval text with the piano playing in four part harmony.  The composer commented that the four parts might be played on sustaining instruments or the organ.  The song has a Christmas theme.

This enders night
I saw a sight
All in my sleep;

Mary that may,
She sang lullay
And sore did weep.

To keep she sought
Full fast about
Her son fro' cold.

Joseph said "Wife,
My joy, my life,
Say what ye wold."

"Nothing my spouse,
Is in this house
Unto me pay.

My son, a King
That made alle thing,
Lieth in hay."

"My mother dear
Amend your cheer,
And now be still;

Thus for to lie
It is soothly
My Father's will."

Great Passion,

As it is found,
Many a wound
Suffer shall I

On Calvary
That is so high
There shall I be.

Man to restore.
Nailed full sore
Upon a tree."