The Sea in March
Do you ever wonder about the connections you make, whether it is the friendships you have, music you love, or why you choose a particular color as your favorite?
Years ago, I came across the enchanting song cycle, “Sea Pictures”, Op. 37 by Edward Elgar. The song cycle includes five poems set to music for contralto and orchestra relating to the sea. This will date me, but it was on an LP album when I first heard the song cycle featuring, Janet Baker as soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli conducting. Dame Baker’s voice on the recording is mesmerizing, and the music and lyrics inspiring and captivating. The selection was a natural one, love for the sea, and love for Elgar’s music. The cherished memories singing these in various performances brings me to realize some other loves – the color blue, and the March birthstone, Aquamarine.
Aquamarine means seawater or water of the sea and in ancient lore was believed to be the treasure of the mermaids and was used as a talisman of good luck and protection for sailors at sea. Aquamarine evokes the exhilaration and relaxation of the sea, and below are the lyrics to the first piece in “Sea Pictures” that reflects the blue sea at night. I think you’ll like it.
- Sea Slumber Song words by Roden Noel (1834-1894)
Sea-birds are asleep, The world forgets to weep, Sea murmurs her soft slumber-song On the shadowy sand Of this elfin land;
“I, the Mother mild, Hush thee, oh my child, Forget the voices wild! Hush thee, oh my child, Hush thee.
Isles in elfin light Dream, the rocks and caves, Lulled by whispering waves, Veil their marbles Veil their marbles bright.
Foam glimmers faintly faintly white Upon the shelly sand Of this elfin land;
Sea-sound, like violins, To slumber woos and wins,
I murmur my soft slumber-song, my slumber song Leave woes, and wails, and sins.
Ocean's shadowy might Breathes good night, Good night... Leave woes, and wails, and sins. Good night...Good night... Good night... Good night... Good night... Good night.