from Musica Borealis, June 3, 2023

The Half Moon
music: Stephen Chatman (b. 1950); lyrics: Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

The half moon shows a face of plaintive sweetness
Ready and poised to wax or wane;
A fire of pale desire in incompleteness,
Tending to pleasure or to pain:
Lo, while we gaze she rolleth on in fleetness
To perfect loss or perfect gain.

Half bitterness we know, we know half sweetness;
This world is all on wax, on wane:
When shall completeness round time’s incompleteness,
Fulfilling joy, fulfilling pain?
Lo, while we ask, life rolleth on in fleetness
To finished loss or finished gain.

· · · · · ·

The Snow-White Messenger
Netherland folk song; arr.: Lloyd Pfautsch (1921–2003)

Within the woods a song was heard.
It was the singing of a bird,
a lovely snow-white nightingale, dindon, deine,
a lovely snow-white nightingale, dindondon.

O nightingale, now hear my plea.
A message will you take for me?
For my true love awaits my word, dindon, deine,
For my true love awaits my word, dindondon.

The nightingale said “My good sir!
How can I be your messenger
For I am such a tiny bird, dindon, deine,
For I am such a tiny bird, dindondon.”

Though you are small, you have great speed
And so to you again I plead,
O take this letter to my love, dindon, deine,
O take this letter to my love, dindondon.

She took the letter in her bill
And said, “Your wish I will fulfill.”
Then off she flew beyond the woods, dindon, deine,
Then off she flew beyond the woods, dindondon.

He followed where the bird had flown
And when he saw his love alone
She looked asleep or was she dead,
She looked asleep or was she dead?

“I’m not asleep and I’m not dead
But for six months I have been wed.”
To him it seemed a thousand years, dindon, deine,
To him it seemed a thousand years, dindondon.

· · · · · ·

At Sunrise (Auringon Noustessa)
music: Toivo Kuula (1883–1918); words: V. A. Koskenniemi (1885–1962);
English words: Norman Luboff (1917–1987)

See, now, the sun rising.
Look, o my soul, to the heavens.

Over the roofs and the streets of the city so stony.
To feel emotions so painful; the thousands of lies so clear in the sunrise.
Soul, in the sun, rising, mortal but so full of beauty.

Like a towering temple, there, boundless, above you.
Bringing eternal peace.

See now the moon rising, crystalline brilliance of moonlight.
There midst the moments of pain, there are moments triumphant.
Wand’ring in darkness through shame and through sorrow,
In search of truth now and ever.

See, now, the sun rising.
Look, o my soul, to the heavens.

· · · · · ·

Gjendines bådnlåt (Norwegian Lullaby)
Folk song credited to Gjendine Slålien (1871–1972);
words: Per Mathisson Offvid; arr.: Gunnar Eriksson (b. 1936)

Barnet legges I vugen ned

The child is laid down in the cradle,

stundom greder og stundom ler.

sometimes crying and sometimes laughing.

Sove nu I Jesu navn

Sleep now in Jesus name,

Jesus bevare barnet.

Jesus save the child.

Min mor hun tok meg på sitt fang

My mother took me on her lap

danse med meg frem og tilbake.

dancing with me back and forth.

Danse så med de små.

So dance with the little ones.

Så skal barnet danse.

Then the children will dance.

Danse i Jesu navn.

Dance in the name of Jesus.

· · · · · ·

Solveigs Sang (Solviegs Song, from Peer Gynt)
music: Edvard Grieg (1843–1907); words: Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906)

Kanske vil der gå både Vinter og Vår,

The winter may pass and the spring disappear

og neste Sommer med, og det hele År,

The summer too will vanish and then the year

men engang vil du komme, det ved jeg vist,

But this I know for certain: you’ll come back again

og jeg skal nok vente, for det lovte jeg sidst.

And even as I promised you’ll find me waiting then.

Gud styrke dig, hvor du i Verden går,

God help you when wand’ring your way all alone

Gud glæde dig, hvis du for hans Fodskam mel står.

God grant to you his strength as you’ll kneel at his throne

Her skal jeg vente til du kommer igjen;

If you are in Heaven now waiting for me

og venter du hist oppe, vi træffes der, min Ven!

And we shall meet again love and never parted be!

· · · · · ·

Havde jeg, o havde jeg en Dattersøn, o ja! (Had I, oh did I have a daughter’s son, oh yes!)
music: Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871–1927); words: J. P. Jacobsen (1847–1885)

Havde jeg, o havde jeg en Dattersøn, o ja!

Had I, oh did I have a daughter’s son, oh yes!

og en Kiste med mange, mange Penge,

And a chest with lots and lots of money,

saa havde jeg vel ogsaa havt en Datter, o ja,

Then I would have had a daughter too, oh yes,

og Hus og Hjem og Marker og Enge.

And house and home and fields and meadows.

Tra la la la la la

Tra la la la la la

Havde jeg, o havde jeg en Datterlil, o ja!

Did I, oh did I have a daughter, oh yes!

og Hus og Hjem og Marker og Enge,

And house and home and fields and meadows.

saa havde jeg vel ogsaa havt en Kærrest, o ja!

Then I would have had a lover too, oh yes!

med Kister med mange, mange Penge.

With chests with lots and lots of money.

Tra la la la la la

Tra la la la la la

o havde jeg en Dattersøn

O, had I a Daughter.

· · · · · ·

Maritime folk song, collected by Dr. Helen Creighton; arr.; Gary Ewer

There was an old man and he had but one cow,
and how that he lost her he couldn’t tell how,
For white was her forhead and slick was her tail,
And I thought my poor Drimindown never would fail.

Ehgo so ro Drimindown ho ro ha,
So ro Drimindown nealy you gra,
So ro Drimindown orha ma dow
Me poor Drimindown
nea le sko chea go slanigash
So ro Drimindown ho ro ha.

Bad luck to ye Drimin and why did you die?
Why did you leave me, for what, and for why?
For I’d sooner lose Pat and me old Bucken Bon*
Than you , my poor Drimindown, now you are gone.

As I went to mass one fine morning in May
I saw my poor Drimindown sunk by the way,
I rolled and I bawled and my neighbours I called
To see my poor Drimindown She bein’ me all.


My poor Drimon’s sunk and I saw her no more.
She sunk on an island close down by the shore.
And after she sunk down she rose up again
like a bunck of black wild berries grown in the glen.


* “Pat” is the singer’s son; “Bucken Bon” is his wife.

· · · · · ·

Peer Gynt’s Serenade
music: Edvard Grieg (1843–1907); words: Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906)

Jeg stængte for mit Paradis

I bolted up my paradise

Og tog dets Nögle med.

And took the key with me.

Det bar tilhavs fornordlig Bris,

The North Wind blew my ship from the shore,

Mens skjönne Kvinder sit Forlis

While the beautiful women I left behind

På Havsens Strand begræd.

Wept as I departed.

Mod Syd, mod Syd skar Kjölens Flugt

Southward the keel’s flight

De salte Strömmes Vand.

Sliced through the turbulent brine.

Hvor Palmen svaier stolt og smukt,

Where the slender palms soar proudly up

I Krans om Oceanets Bugt,

Encircling the ocean’s bay,

Jeg stak mit Skib i Brand.

I set my ship on fire.

Ombord jeg steg på Slettens Skib,

I boarded then the desert ship,

Et Skib på fire Ben.

A ship upon four legs.

Det skummed under Piskens Hieb,

I spurred it on its way,

Jeg er en flygtig Fugl, o grib,

I am a bird, catch me,

Jeg kviddrer på en Gren!

I chirp, Anitra, upon the bough!

Anitra, du er Palmens Most,

You are the palm’s juice!

det må jeg sande nu!

Who can get enough of you?

Ja, selv Angoragje dens Ost

Even the cheese of the angora goat

er neppe halvt sa söd en Kost,

Is not even half as sweet a delicacy,

Jeg stak mit Skib i Brand.

Anitra, ah, as you!

· · · · · ·

The Love of the Sea
music & lyrics: Donna Rhodenizer Taylor

The love of the sea, it holds like no other;
the roll of the waves and the tangy salt air.
She’s stormy and gentle and constantly changing.
Her song is my blood and I can’t turn away.

Although I can’t hold her, she knows how to soothe me:
I hear her voice whisper and call out my name.
I’ll give of my heart to no mortal for breaking;
myself, I will choose for my true love, the sea.

She has my love ’til death us do part.
She has all of my soul and all of my heart.
I’m not complete unless I am near her;
My soul mate, my master, my true love, the sea.

What gifts she does bring in the colours she gives me:
the blush of new morning, the sapphire of noon,
the red glow of the sun in the evening,
the twilight’s deep blue when I bid her goodnight.

Please follow my wishes, and when I am dying,
return me to her so together we’ll be.
Her waves will be the arms that enfold me;
united at last with my true love, the sea.


· · · · · ·

Ave maris stella
music: Edvard Grieg (1843–1907); words: attributed to Venantius Fortunatus (530–609)

Ave, maris stella,

Hail, star of the sea,

Dei mater alma,

Nurturing Mother of God,

Atque semper virgo,

And ever Virgin

Felix coeli porta.

Happy gate of Heaven

Solve vincla reis:

Loosen the chains of the guilty,

Profer lumen caecis,

Send forth light to the blind,

Mala nostra pelle,

Our evil do thou dispel,

Bona cuncta posce.

Entreat (for us) all good things.

Vitam praesta puram,

Bestow a pure life,

Iter para tuum,

Prepare a safe way,

Ut, videntes Jesum,

That seeing Jesus,

Semper collaetemur.

We may ever rejoice.

Sit laus Deo Patri,

Praise be to God the Father,

Summo Christo decus,

To the Most High Christ (be) glory,

Spiritui sancto;

To the Holy Spirit

Tribus honor unus. Amen!

(Be) honour, to the Three equally. Amen.

· · · · · ·

Northern Lights
Latvian folk song; music: Ēriks Ešenvalds (b. 1977); words: Charles Frances Hall & Fridtjof Nansen

Cik naksnīnas pret ziemeli redzēj’ kāvus karojam

How many nights against the North wind

Ē, redzēj’ kāvus karojam;

I saw the Northern Lights fighting;

Karo kāvi pie debesu, vedīs karus mūs’ zemē;

Fighting in the sky, the Northern Lights

Ē, vedīs karus mūs’ zemē

Bring wars to our land.

It was night, and I had gone on deck several times
Iceberg was silent; I too was silent
It was true dark and cold
At nine o’clock I was below in my cabin
When the captain hailed me with the words:
“Come above, Hall, at once! The world is on fire!”
I knew his meaning, and, quick as thought
I rushed to the companion stairs
In a moment I reached the deck
And as the cabin door swung open
A dazzling light, overpow’ring light burst upon my startled senses!
Oh, the whole sky was one glowing mass of colored flames, so mighty, so brave!
Like a pathway of light the northern lights seemed to draw us into the sky
Yes, it was harp-music, wild storming in the darkness;
The strings trembled and sparkled in the glow of the flames
Like a shower of fiery darts
A fiery crown of auroral light cast a warm glow across the arctic ice
Again at times it was like softly playing, gently rocking silvery waves
On which dreams travel into unknown worlds

· · · · · ·

This Is My Song
music: Jean Sibelius (1865–1957); words: Lloyd Stone (1912–1993); arr.: H. Alexander Matthews (1879–1973)

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting ev’ry wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.

· · · · · ·

Un Canadien errant
French-Canadian folk song; arr.: Donald Patriquin (b. 1938)

Un Canadien errant,

A wandering “Canadien”

Banni de ses foyers,

Banished from his homeland

Parcourait en pleurant

Travelled, weeping,

Des pays étrangers.

through foreign lands.

Un jour, triste et pensif,

One day, sad and thoughtful,

Assis au bord des flots,

Seated on the river’s bank

Au courant fugitif

To the fleeing current

Il adressa ces mots:

He spoke these words:

“Si tu vois mon pays,

“If you should see my home

Mon pays malheureux,

My sad unhappy land

Va, dis à mes amis

Go, say to all my friends

Que je me souviens d’eux.

That I remember them.

“Non, mais en expirant,

“No, but with my last breath

Ô mon cher Canada!

O my dear Canada!

Mon regard languissant

My sad gaze

Vers toi se portera.”

Will go to you.”

· · · · · ·

Heyr himna smiður
music: Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson (1938–2013); words: Kolbeinn Tumason (1173–1208)

Heyr, himna smiður,

Hear, heaven’s maker,

hvers skáldið biður.

what the poet bids,

Komi mjúk til mín

bring soft to me

miskunnin þín.

your mercy.

Því heit eg á þig,

I beg of you,

þú hefur skaptan mig.

For you created me,

Eg er þrællinn þinn,

I am your servant,

þú ert drottinn minn.

You are my Lord.

Guð, heit eg á þig,

God I beg of you,

að þú græðir mig.

heal me,

Minnst þú, mildingur, mín,

remember how great

mest þurfum þín.

our need of thee

Ryð þú, röðla gramur,

Almighty God,

ríklyndur og framur,

Heaven’s King,

hölds hverri sorg

clear away human sorrow,

þú ert drottinn minn.

take it from our hearts.

Gæt þú, mildingur, mín,

Let your grace protect me

mest þurfum þín,

in my sore need

helzt hverja stund

every moment

á hölda grund.

on this earth.

Send þú, meyjar mögur,

Sweet Jesus, Mary’s son,

málsefnin fögur,

put in my heart,

öll er hjálp af þér,

beautiful thoughts,

í hjarta mér.

for all help comes from thee.

· · · · · ·

Canadian Railroad Trilogy
music & lyrics: Gordon Lightfoot (1938–2023)

There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run,
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun,
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real.

But time has no beginning and the hist’ry has no bounds,
as to this verdant country they came from all around.
They sailed upon her waterways and they walked the forest tall,
Built the mines, the mills and factories for the good of us all. And when the young man’s fancy was turning in the spring,
The railroad men grew restless for to hear the hammers ring.
Their minds were overflowing with the visions of their day
And many a fortune won and lost and many a debt to pay. For they looked in the future and what did they see?
They saw an iron road runnin’ from the sea to the sea.
Bringin’ the goods to a young growin’ land
all up from the seaports and into their hands. Look away said they, across this mighty land;
from the eastern shore to the western strand!
Bring in the workers and bring up the rails,
We gotta lay down the tracks and tear up the trails. Open her heart let the life blood flow.
Gotta get on our way ’cause we’re movin’ too slow. Behind the blue rockies the sun is declinin’.
The stars they come stealin’ at the close of the day.
Across the wide prairies our loved ones lie sleeping,
Beyond the dark forest in a place far away. We are the plowboys who work upon the railway,
Swingin’ our hammers in the bright blazin’ sun.
Livin’ on stew and drinkin’ bad whiskey
bendin’ our backs ’til the railroad is done. So, over the mountains and over the plains,
Into the muskeg and into the rain,
Up the St. Lawrence all the way to Gaspé,
Swingin’ our hammers and drawin’ our pay, Layin’ ’em in and tyin’ ’em down,
Away to the bunkhouse and into the town.
A dollar a day and a place for my head
A drink to the livin’, and a toast to the dead.
Now, the song of the future has been sung,
All the battles have been won,
On the mountain tops we stand,
All the world at our command,
We have opened up the soil
With our teardrops and our toil For there was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run;
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun.
Long before the white man and long before the wheel.
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real.
And many are the dead men, too silent to be real.

· · · · · ·

Solveig’s Vuggesang (Solviegs Cradle Song, from Peer Gynt)
music: Edvard Grieg (1843–1907); words: Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906)

Sov, du dyreste Gutten min!

Sleep, my dearest lad!

Jeg skal vugge dig, jeg skal våge.

I will rock you, I’ll not wake you.

Gutten har siddet på sin Moders Fang.

The lad has been sitting on his mother’s lap.

De to har leget hele Livsdagen lang.

The two, have sat the entire day long.

Gutten har hvilet ved sin Moders Bryst

The lad has rested at his mother’s breast

hele Livsdagen lang. Gud signe dig, min Lyst!

all day long. God bless you, my desire!

Gutten har ligget til mit Hjerte tæt

The lad has been close to my heart

hele Livsdagen lang. Nu er han så træt.

all day long. Now he is so tired.

Sov, du dyreste Gutten min!

Sleep, my dearest lad!

Jeg skal vugge dig, jeg skal våge.

I’ll rock you, I’ll not wake you.

· · · · · ·

The Banks of Loch Erin
Newfoundland folk song; arr: Derek Healey

One ev’ning for pleasure I rambled
To view the fair fields all alone,
Down by the banks of Loch Erin
Where beauty and pleasure were known.

I spied a fair maid at her labour,
Which caused me to stay for a while;
I thought her the goddess of beauty,
The blooming bright star of Belle Isle.

I humbled myself to her beauty:
“Fair maiden, where do you belong?
Are you from the heavens descended,
Abiding in Cupid’s fair throng?”

“Young man, I will tell you a secret
It’s true I’m a maid who is poor,
and to part from my vows and my promise,
is more than my heart can endure.

“Therefore I’ll remain at my service
and go through all hardship and toil,
and wait for the lad that has left me
alone on the banks of Belle Isle.”

“Young maiden I wish not to banter;
’tis true I came here in disguise.
I came to fulfill my last promise,
and hoped to give you a surprise.
I own you’re the maid I love dearly;
You’ve been in my heart all the while,
for me there is no other damsel
than the blooming bright star of Belle Isle.”

· · · · · ·

Tròdlabùndin (Spellbound)
Faroese folk song

Trøllabundin eri eg eri eg

Spellbound I am, I am

Galdramaður festi meg festi meg

The wizard has enchanted me, enchanted me

Trøllabundin djúpt í míni sál í míni sál

Spellbound deep in my soul, in my soul

Í hjartanum logar brennandi bál brennandi bál

In my heart burns a sizzling fire, a sizzling fire

Trøllabundin eri eg eri eg

Spellbound I am, I am

Galdramaður festi meg festi meg

The wizard has enchanted me, enchanted me

Trøllabundin inn í hjartarót í hjartarót

Spellbound in my heart’s root, my heart’s root

Eyga mítt festist har ið galdramaðurin stóð

My eyes gaze to where the wizard stood

· · · · · ·

Vive la Canadienne
French-Canadian folk song; arr.: R. S. Eaton

Vive la Canadienne!

Long live the Canadian woman!

Vole mon cœur, vole!

Fly my heart, fly!

Vive la Canadienne

Long live the Canadian woman

et ses jolis yeux doux

and her pretty gentle eyes

Nous la menons aux noces

We take her to the wedding

Vole mon cœur, vole!

Fly my heart, fly!

Nous la menons aux noces

We take her to the wedding

dans tous ses beaux atours

in all her beautiful finery

On danse avec nos blondes

We dance with our girlfriends

Vole mon cœur vole!

Fly my heart fly!

On danse avec nos blondes,

We dance with our girlfriends

Nous changeons tour à tour

We switch partners one by one

Vole! Vole! Vole!

Fly! Fly! Fly!

· · · · · ·

Song for Canada
music & English words: Paul Halley; French words: Anton Raphaël Boldaire

Sing! Sing a newsong,
Sing loud and strong,
Sing of this land of our hopes and our dreams.
Rich harmonies
Of races and creeds
Join in the chorus from sea unto sea:
Where the whale’s ancient lullaby
Meets the song of the wind in the whisp’ring pines,
All our voices come together, always singing,
“Land of tomorrow, your time has come.”

Oui, qu’un nouveau chant

Yes, let a new song

Dise á present

Utter now

Un voeu d’accord qui doit remplir nos coeurs.

The wish for harmony that must fill our hearts.

Peuples divers,

You, varied peoples

Touchant les deux mers,

Reaching the two seas,

Heureux voisins, ne formez qu’un seul choeur

You happy neighbours, form but a single chorus

Pour mélanger tous vos accents

In order to blend all your tones

Aux refrains des cognées dansant sous les vents.

With the refrains of the axes as they dance below the winds.

Que nos voix ensemble chantent et rechantent,

Let our voices together sing and sing again,

“Oui, bel aujourd’hui, vois mon pays.”

“Yes, o beautiful day, behold my country.”

Sing! Sing of new birth,
Sing of the earth,
Sing of great mountains that reach for the sky.
Proud cities swell,
Vast plains do tell
Of the promise and hope for the future that lies
In the loon’s timeless melody,
In the cry of an eagle that’s soaring free.
All our voices come together, singing,
“Land of tommorow, your time has come.”

· · · · · ·