Posts tagged ‘song’

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Walking Into Doors by Archibald (Archie) William Roach

You say you’re a man, you understand, but you don’t,
You should lend her a helping hand, but you won’t.
Because I’m a man I don’t understand, but I try
She always does what I command, while she cries.
And why should we do what we do and sleep at night?
The crazy things we put her through, it isn’t right—
It isn’t right.

So, my brother, don’t hurt her anymore:
She’s got her lore; you’ve got yours—
And she’s sick and tired of walking into doors

Her gentle spirit, her sacred way and her smile,
May not be here, she may disappear in a little while.
Sister Moon, Sister Girl and giving birth
Mother Nature, Mother of Pearl and Mother Earth—
Sweet Mother Earth.

So, my brother, don’t hurt her anymore:
She’s got her lore and you’ve got yours—
And she’s sick and tired of walking into doors.

So, my brother, don’t hurt her anymore:
She’s got her lore; you’ve got yours—
And she’s sick and tired of walking into doors—
Yes, she’s sick and tired of walking into doors.

From: (transcribed by flusteredduck)

Date: 1992

By: Archibald (Archie) William Roach (1956- )

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Western Australia for Me by George Fletcher Moore

Air—”Ballinamona oro”

From the old Western world, we have come to explore
The wilds of this Western Australian shore;
In search of a country, we’ve ventured to roam,
And now that we’ve found it, let’s make it our home.
And what though the colony’s new, Sirs,
And inhabitants yet may be few, Sirs,
We see them encreasing here too, Sirs,
So Western Australia for me.

With care and experience, I’m sure ’twill be found
Two crops in the year we may get from the ground;
There’s good wood and good water, good flesh and good fish,
Good soil and good clime, and what more could you wish.
Then let every one earnestly strive, Sirs,
Do his best, be alert and alive, Sirs,
We’ll soon see our colony thrive, Sirs,
So Western Australia for me.

No lions of tigers we here dread to meet,
Our innocent quadrupeds hop on two feet;
No tithes and no taxes we now have to pay,
And our geese are all swans, as some witty folks say.
Then we live without trouble or stealth, Sirs,
Our currency’s all sterling wealth, Sirs,
So here’s to our Governor’s health, Sirs,
And Western Australia for me.

From: Moore, George Fletcher, Diary of Ten Years Eventful Life of an Early Settler in Western Australia; and also A Descriptive Vocabulary of the Language of the Aborigines, 1884, M. Walbrook: London, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1834

By: George Fletcher Moore (1798-1886)

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Song by Mrs. Taylor

Ye virgin powers, defend my heart
From amorous looks and smiles,
From saucy Love, or nicer Art,
Which most our sex beguiles:

From sighs and vows, from awful fears
That do to Pity move,
From speaking silence, and from tears,
Those springs that water Love.

But if through Passion I grow blind,
Let Honour be my guide,
And where frail nature seems inclin’d,
There fix a guard of Pride.

A heart whose flames are seen though pure,
Needs every virtue’s aid,
And those who think themselves secure,
The soonest are betray’d.

From: Rowton, Frederic (ed.), The Female Poets of Great Britain, Chronologically Arranged: With Copious Selections and Critical Notes, 1849, Carey and Hart: Philadelphia, p. 90.

Date: 1685

By: Mrs. Taylor (fl. 1685)

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Song by Castelloza

Friend, if I found you gracious, fair,
Candid and humble, full or virtuousness,
How I would love you! But, alas, far less
I find you now: so fell, so cruel to me.
Yet do I sing, to let the wide world know
How virtuous you could be; for I would show
That praised would be your virtue everywhere,
Though you bestow me naught but pain and care.

I shall not deem you debonair
Nor, faithful-hearted, my true love profess
Unless, first, I pronounce how fickley, yes,
How faithless is your heart!… Nay, verily,
Best I think better, lest I too be so
Heartless and faithless unto you—although
So are you unto me!—and lest I bear
Your wrath, should I your slightest wrong declare.

Well do I do; but well aware
Am I that one and all claim we transgress,
Who bare our heart and jabber to excess
Our bane and bale unto our swains. But he
Who judges so, judges us ill; for, no!
Rather than die, I would prove, à propos,
That I much comfort feel when, in my prayer,
I pray to him who causes my despair.

Passing daft must one be to dare
Say I ought love you not, nor acquiesce
To love’s demands: he knows not my distress,
Nor knows what cheer was mine when I could see
You there before me, telling me that, lo!
Done would my dolor be, undone my woe;
That love for me, once more, might bring you there:
Ah! promise of a joy beyond compare!

All other loves do I foreswear.
None else consoles me in my dire duress,
Nor brings me solacy; yours would I possess,
And yours alone, to ease my misery…
But, friend, I cannot change you; and I go
On yearning, hoping, dreaming of the beau
You will not be! Where isd your love? Oh, where
But in my sleep, that love I fain would share?

I fear I will no better fare,
Nor can, in other wise, my dole express;
For, ceaseless, have I tried, with no success,
Fair means and foul to thwart your cruelty.
This message do I send you—this canso
Writ in my words, my very own. But, oh!
If die I must, yours be the blame! Beware:
Yours, the sin; mine, the woe without repair.

From: Shapiro, Norman R.; Krueger, Roberta L.; LaFarge Catherine and Perry, Catherine, Freench Women Poets of Nine Centuries: The Distaff and the Pen, 2008,  The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, Maryland, pp: 65-67.

Date: 13th century (original in Occitan); 2008 (translation in English)

By: Castelloza (13th century)

Translated by: Norman R. Shapiro (19??- )

Thursday, 27 August 2020

He Fades Away* by Alistair Hulett

There’s a man in my bed I used to love him
His kisses used to take my breath away
There’s a man in my bed I hardly know him
I wipe his face and hold his hand
And watch him as he slowly fades away

And he fades away
Not like leaves that fall in autumn
Turning gold against the grey
He fades away
Like the bloodstains on the pillow case
That I wash every day
He fades away

There’s a man in my bed, he’s on a pension
Although he’s only fifty years of age
The lawyer says we might get compensation
In the course of due procedure
But he couldn’t say for certain at this stage

And he’s not the only one
Who made that trip so many years ago
To work the Wittenoom mines
So many young men old before their time
And dying slow
He fades away
A wheezing bag of bones his
Lungs half clogged and full of clay
He fades away

There’s a man in my bed they never told him
The cost of bringing home his weekly pay
And when the courts decide how much they owe him
How will he spend his money
When he lies in bed and coughs his life away?

*This song is about an Australian blue asbestos miner. The miners (and often their families) were exposed to blue asbestos through the mine at Wittenoom in Western Australia and had a long and very bitter legal battle for compensation with many miners (and their family members) dying of the effects of the asbestos exposure (specifically mesothelioma) before receiving compensation. Wittenoom itself is a declared contaminated site and was phased out as a townsite, being removed from road signs and maps, in the 1990s. As of 2019, there was only one remaining permanent resident.


Date: 1991

By: Alistair Hulett (1951-2010)

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Collins Foster

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,
Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d away!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea,
Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelei;
Over the streamlet vapors are borne,
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
E’en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!


Date: c1862

By: Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864)

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Song by Jacques Prévert

What day are we?
We are every day
My friend
We’re the whole of life
My love
We love and we live
We live and we love
And we don’t really know
What life is
And we don’t really know
What the day is
And we don’t really know
What love is


Date: 1949 (original in French); 1997 (translation in English)

By: Jacques Prévert (1900-1977)

Translated by: Alastair Campbell (19??- )

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Song by Elizabeth Malet Wilmot

Nothing ades to Loves fond fire
More then scorn and cold disdain
I to cherish your desire
kindess used but twas in vain
you insulted on your Slave
To be mine you soon refused
Hope hope not then the power to have
Which ingloriously you used
Thinke not Thersis I will ere
By my love my Empire loose
you grow Constant through dispare
kindness you would soon abuse
Though you still possess my hart
Scorn and rigor I must fain
there remaines noe other art
your Love fond fugitive to gain.

From: Greer, Germaine; Hastings, Susan; Medoff, Jeslyn and Sansone, Melinda (eds.), Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Verse, 1988, Farrar Strauss Giroux: New York, pp. 230-231.

Date: 1680

By: Elizabeth Malet Wilmot (1651-1681)

Friday, 24 February 2017

Song by Michael Wodhull

What still does fair Lucy’s disdain
Occasion this festering smart;
Cannot time give relief to your pain,
And heal the slight wound in your heart?

The arrows of Cupid, I know,
At first are all pointed with steel:
But how frail is the strength of his bow!
How fleeting the pangs which we feel!

His wings they are shatter’d by Time,
His quiver is soil’d in the dust;
Such, such , is Life’s flowery prime,
And Beauty’s most insolent trust.

Taste the joys a new passion can give,
With the Nymph that’s complying and kind;
Or, learning more sagely to live,
Be blest, and give Love to the wind.

From: Wodhull, Michael, Poems, 1772, W. Bowyer and J. Nicholls: London, p. 53.

Date: 1772

By: Michael Wodhull (1740-1816)

Friday, 17 June 2016

Song by Thomas Bishop

When Wit and charming Beauty meet,
To form an excellence divine,
I own the conquest is compleat,
And with a willing joy my heart resign:
What fool so mad to hope for liberty
When chains like yours can make us more than free?

’Tis true, Eugenia, your fair eyes,
Had gain’d the conquest long before,
They made my heart your beauty’s prize,
But now your tongue has added something more.
Myself your slave by double force I find
You first attack’d my passions, now my mind.

From: Nichols, John (ed.), A Select Collection of Poems with Notes, Biographical and Historical, The Fourth Volume, 1780, J. Nichols: London, p. 25.

Date: 1683

By: Thomas Bishop (fl. 1683)