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Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)

Related threads:
Crossing the Bar question (43)
Tune Req: Crossing the bar - Tennyson (20)
Crossing the Bar MP3 (14)


Genie 31 Oct 04 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Oct 04 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,BB 31 Oct 04 - 02:41 PM
Ferrara 31 Oct 04 - 07:47 PM
Genie 04 Nov 04 - 12:57 AM
Genie 04 Nov 04 - 05:04 PM
Genie 29 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM
Genie 27 Sep 07 - 03:00 AM
Genie 08 Oct 10 - 05:22 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 10 - 06:27 AM
Genie 08 Oct 10 - 07:16 PM
KT 10 Oct 10 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,David Garrett 19 Nov 10 - 08:10 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Nov 10 - 08:42 PM
doc.tom 20 Nov 10 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Willa 21 Nov 10 - 06:15 AM
Herga Kitty 21 Nov 10 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Luigi in Oregon 10 Jul 17 - 06:45 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 17 - 08:08 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 17 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Gerry 11 Jul 17 - 07:42 AM
leeneia 11 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM
Joe Offer 11 Jul 17 - 12:52 PM
JeffB 11 Jul 17 - 02:30 PM
DaveRo 11 Jul 17 - 03:07 PM
JeffB 11 Jul 17 - 06:05 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Jul 17 - 07:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: CROSSING THE BAR (Tennyson)
From: Genie
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 11:20 AM

I recently heard The Hopeful Gospel Quartet, on Prairie Home Companion, sing a song based on Tennyson's poem "Crossing The Bar."
^^
You can hear it here:
Crossing The Bar (Hopeful Gospel Quartet)

Here's the song version:

CROSSING THE BAR
(based on the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

When I put out to sea,
When I put out to sea,
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.


But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound or foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Turns again home,
Turns again home,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.


Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell;
When I embark;

When I embark,
When I embark,
And may there be no sadness of farewell;
When I embark.


For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

When I have crossed the bar,
When I have crossed the bar,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.



Note from Joe Offer (22 Aug 2016) The lyrics above appear to be an exact transcription of the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The repeats (in italics) are not included in the original poem. Here is the poem text, from http://www.bartleby.com/42/650.html

   English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
650. Crossing the Bar
 
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
 
 
SUNSET and evening star,
  And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
  When I put out to sea,
 
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,        5
  Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
  Turns again home.
 
Twilight and evening bell,
  And after that the dark!        10
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
  When I embark;
 
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
  The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face        15
  When I have crossed the bar.
 


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: 'Crossing The Bar' / Tennyson
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 11:48 AM

The above clip is 18 minutes long - if your Manic Monday doesn't allow for leasure - the song's secetion is at 12:55.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: 'Crossing The Bar' / Tennyson
From: GUEST,BB
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:41 PM

It was Rani Arbo who wrote the music to that poem. She has recorded it on her album "Bottleneck Dreams" with her old band, Salamander Crossing. If you don't know her, she's a neo-traddie and sometime songwriter who plays very fine fiddle, and lives in CT.
Notes in the album: "Crossing the Bar, Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Music by Rani Arbo (Jinn Mill Music/BMI, 1998). Dedicated to Elizabeth E May, with apologies to her and to Mr Tennyson for swapping around the verses."

My singing partner and I do Crossing the Bar, scooping it up immediately after hearing Rani do it in May 2003 in Peterborough, NH. She told a lovely story about it which is something like what follows.
Either her or her husband's grandmother (can't recall which) came to the States from a non-Anglo country. Gran learned a good deal of her English from books, and was fond of a high literary style. Upon her deathbed, where Rani was in attendance, the grandmother (fairly out of it, and close to the end) whispered a poetic line, which Rani did not know. They wrote down what they thought she was saying, to see what it was she was trying to tell them. But she wasn't telling them anything. She was probably somewhere back in her youth, in her head, because she quoted a line from a Tennyson poem, and it turned out to be Crossing the Bar. That was the inspiration for Rani to turn the poem into a song.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: 'Crossing The Bar' / Tennyson
From: Ferrara
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 07:47 PM

BB, I was surprised that you said, "she wasn't telling them anything." I heard a version of this story but I believe they said the woman had been in a coma; at any rate her words just before her death were "Sunset, and evening star, and one clear call for me!"

I have always felt it's a very moving story, and that what she said was very meaningful; she was expressing her awareness of approaching death, and her faith and peacefulness in the face of death. In the poem the sunset is life's end; the evening star is a light that lasts after the sunset; and "one clear call for me" is a call to be willing to leave this world and "cross the bar." She was saying that she was willing, and at peace with death.

That's how I see it, anyway.

Genie & Gargoyle, thanks for making this tune and version of the song available.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: 'Crossing The Bar' / Tennyson
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 12:57 AM

Welcome, Rita, and thanks to you and BB for sharing that story with me. It makes me appreciate the poem and song that much more.

Thanks, Gargoyle, for the tip on finding the song in that long clip! And thanks, BB, for telling me who arranged the poem (which has no "refrain") as a song and put it to music. §:-D


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Crossing The Bar' / Tennyson
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 05:04 PM

Just wanted to add that when I sing the song, I change the musical phrasing slightly on some lines to fit the natural rhythm of the lyric -- the way it would sound if spoken.

E.g., this verse:
"But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound or foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

The Hopeful Gospel Choir sing it with the same phrasing as the first verse, but that comes out:
But such a tide AS MOVing SEEMS aSLEEP,
...
When that which drew FROM OUT the BOUNDless DEEP
...

Not only is it a bit hard to understand the lyric when the emphasis is put in those places, but "tide as moving" sounds too much like "tight-ass moving." LOL

So I sing those lines like this:
But
such a tide as MOVing SEEMS aSLEEP,
...
When
that which drew from OUT the BOUNDless DEEP.
(This means singing the "But" in one line and the "When" in the other on the last beat of the preceding measure.)

Anyway, I think the song is easier to understand and sounds more natural when the phrasing is modulated for the natural rhythm of the poem instead of forcing all the lines into the same meter. (I guess, in a way, I'm saying that I don't think Rani Arbo's tune is as good a fit to the spoken poem as it could have been, pretty and catchy a melody as it is. But the poem can be made to fit that tune pretty well, with a little tweaking.)


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Subject: Tune: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Genie
Date: 29 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM

Update and correction:
In my last post, I misstated the phrasing and syllabic emphasis I use in the tune I put to Tennyson's poem.   This would be more accurate:
But SUCH a TIDE as MOVING SEEMS aSLEEP ...
...
When THAT which DREW from OUT the BOUNDless DEEP ...
I.e., I try to sing it pretty much the way I would speak it as a poem.

I do like Arbo's inclusion of a refrain, though, and that doesn't work as well with my tune. (Plus, I didn't want to plagiarize the format of her musical version of the poem.)

Betsy Wellings, a wonderful singer-guitarist-songwriter from Chehalis, WA (or is it Centralia?), does a beautiful rendition of Arbo's version, but with phrasing that sounds much more natural to me than the way the Hopeful Gospel Quartet sang it. In some places it requires singing 3 or 4 words on a single beat of the music, but the lyrics "scan" better that way.

E.g., instead of
But such a tide AS MOVing SEEMS aSLEEP,
Betsy sings:
But such a tide as MOVing SEEMS aSLEEP.
...
Instead of
When that which drew FROM OUT the BOUNDless DEEP
she sings:
When that which drew from OUT the BOUNDless DEEP.

Instead of
I want to see MY PI-lot FACE to FACE,
She sings
I want to see my PI-lot FACE to FACE.

I much prefer Betsy's phrasing, because the words sound more natural.   It really is a beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Genie
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 03:00 AM

I'm planning my father's memorial service for next week and still looking for fitting songs.   Not dirges, but songs to celebrate crossing over after a good long life.    Thought I'd refresh this thread to see if there are new suggestions.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Genie
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 05:22 AM

Rose Sheehan and her son Colin (De La ___) sang a wonderful close-harmony duet of this song at the Getaway concert last Sunday.
If they give me permission, I'll upload it to YouTube and post the link here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 06:27 AM

Colin De La Barre..................Great singer!

Tim Radford (Away from home.)


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Subject: Video: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Genie
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 07:16 PM

Rose and Colin: "Crossing The Bar" - FSGW Getaway concert 2010


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: KT
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 08:41 PM

Thanks, Genie for posting this. This song is new to me. Rose and Colin's rendition at the Getaway is the first I'd heard. Wonderful!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: GUEST,David Garrett
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 08:10 PM

Sung at the burial of a cousin this past summer
by his former wife and children.
I've been looking for the sheet music
so that a choir might sing it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 08:42 PM

Never heard the other versions referred to above: I only know it from the Craig, Morgan and Robson arrangement which is fantastic. It's in one of their books: "When the Snows of Winter Fall" (Graeme Miles song which is in the same book).
Crossing the Bar is in 3-part harmony in this book (key of D)
Obtainable from Reiver Music: www.reivermusic.co.uk or ww.cmr-harmony.org.uk
You can also hear it on Craig, Morgan and Robson Cd "Stranded"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: doc.tom
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 08:05 AM

Fabulous recording of Jeff Warner doing Rani Arbo's setting of the poem on his 'Jolly Tinker' CD (Gumstump Records 101. 2005). There are, apparently over twenty different settings of the poem. I only came across it because it was reportedly read as part of the funerral service for the English shantyman John Short in 1933.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: GUEST,Willa
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 06:15 AM

Like Tattie Bogle I only know the CMR version, which is well worth seeking out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 01:23 PM

GU4 have also recorded it.

The Ref heard it from CMR at Herga, and learnt it in a few days to sing at his father's funeral...

Kitty


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Subject: THANK YOU RE: Mudcat FAQ - Newcomer's Guide
From: GUEST,Luigi in Oregon
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 06:45 PM

I just stumbled upon this wonderful site as I was looking for lyrics for / text of "Crossing the Bar." It was one of my Mom's favorite poems and now she's crossed the bar. THANK YOU!! Now I have the lyrics AND asoe ways to hear various interpretations of the song. Luigi


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Subject: RE: Mudcat FAQ - Newcomer's Guide
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 08:08 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Luigi. It is a beautiful poem, indeed. Rani Arbo's setting is probably the most popular one in the folk world, but it's not the only one. Most of the other settings I've found are choral pieces.
-Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 08:24 PM

I haven't found a setting of "Crossing the Bar" that I like better than the one by Rani Arbo, but I've been looking.
Here's a nice choral setting by Donald McCullough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvFNn4a5srk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 07:42 AM

Recently recorded by The Spooky Men's Chorale. Video up at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvFNn4a5srk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM

Here's an up-to-date URL for the Hopeful Gospel Quartet that was mentioned in the OP. The tune is lovely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EUmx0aKp8Q


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 12:52 PM

"Crossing the Bar," recorded by Salamander Crossing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELp0YvtBUUE

Notes from video" " This particular version was recorded by the bluegrass band Salamander Crossing from their album "Bottleneck Dreams". Salamander Crossing disbanded in 1999 but some of the original members (Rani Arbo and Andrew Kinsey) still perform under the name "Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem"."

The Spooky Men's Chorale and the Hopeful Gospel Quartet both do the Rani Arbo setting of the Tennyson poem. Are there other, different settings (melodies) of the Tennyson poem that Mudcatters like?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: JeffB
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 02:30 PM

The poem is one of the last Tennyson wrote, three years before his death in 1892, while staying with his friend James Froude in Salcombe Regis in south Devon. On his deathbed Tennyson told his son that it was to be the final poem in every future anthology of his poetry, so it obviously had great personal importance.

Salcombe lies on a narrow rocky inlet, and adverse wind and low tide often combine to make the crossing of the bar at the entrance to the harbour extremely dangerous. Thirteen of the Salcombe lifeboat's crew were drowned while attempting to cross it in 1916. Tennyson himself experienced a very rough crossing of the bar on Froude's yacht and this experience probably inspired his poem.

I am told that in Tennyson's time a specially-designed buoy was anchored on the bar. It was fitted with a device which somehow made a droning or moaning noise in an on-shore wind, and if this is true it not only would have been a sound Tennyson himself had heard, but to me gives a slightly deeper meaning to the phrase "crossing the bar" in the poem. "May there be no moaning of the bar" seems to be plea for a gentle passing.

I have e-mailed the Salcombe Museum asking if they know anything of the moaning buoy, but have had no reply. Does anyone have any information?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: DaveRo
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 03:07 PM

The 'moaning' is mentioned in this_thread


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: JeffB
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 06:05 PM

Thanks DaveRo. I was probably misinformed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crossing the Bar (Tennyson, Arbo)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 07:27 PM

Well, I see I last posted on this thread in November 2010. I wasn't to know then that my Dad - then aged 93 - would be admitted to hospital just a couple of weeks after that, and subsequently passed away on Christmas Day 2010. As he had been in the Royal Navy during WW2 and then in the RNVR for many years after that, I felt it was a very appropriate song to have at his funeral. We used the CMR version, and it was absolutely haunting. It took another 2-3 years before I could sing it again myself without breaking up, and then the Spooky Men did their beautiful version.......   more tears!


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