Where Corals Lie


Where Corals Lie

"Where Corals Lie" is a poem by Richard Garnett. The poem was set to music as the fourth song of "Sea Pictures" composed by Sir Edward Elgar. In its musical form, it was a great favourite in Britain - see Your Hundred Best Tunes.

Lyrics

[Italicised text indicates lines repeated in the song, but not in the original poem.]

The deeps have music soft and low When winds awake the airy spry,It lures me, lures me on to go And see the land where corals lie. "The land, the land, where corals lie."

By mount and steed, by lawn and rill, When night is deep, and moon is high,That music seeks and finds me still, And tells me where the corals lie. "And tells me where the corals lie."

Yes, press my eyelids close, 'tis well,"Yes, press my eyelids close, 'tis well", But far the rapid fancies flyThe rolling worlds of wave and shell, And all the lands where corals lie.

Thy lips are like a sunset glow, Thy smile is like a morning sky,Yet leave me, leave me, let me go And see the land where corals lie. "The land, the land, where corals lie."

Elgar's setting

The music alternates between the regular off-beat quaver accompaniment and, at the end of each verse, a single "colla parte" bar that slows down the tempo to emphasise the text. Woodwind refrains add colour and contrast. Elgar's doubles the vocal lines with flute and clarinet (verse one), solo cello (verse two), and violins (verse four). [Beales, Brendan "Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Programme" for performance at the Royal Albert Hall 6 April 2008]

References


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