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Tune Req: Gift of the Sea (Kipling)


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mg 16 Sep 06 - 11:50 PM
Leadfingers 17 Sep 06 - 05:12 AM
Dave Earl 17 Sep 06 - 10:16 AM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 13 - 01:41 AM
mg 07 Aug 13 - 03:22 AM
Joe_F 07 Aug 13 - 03:08 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GIFT OF THE SEA (Kipling)
From: mg
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 11:50 PM

Has anyone put a tune to this? I keep thinking I will but want to know if others have. I think this would be a magnificent song.


The dead child lay in the shroud,
And the widow watched beside;
And her mother slept, and the Channel swept
The gale in the teeth of the tide.

But the mother laughed at all.
"I have lost my man in the sea,
And the child is dead. Be still," she said,
"What more can ye do to me?"

The widow watched the dead,
And the candle guttered low,
And she tried to sing the Passing Song
That bids the poor soul go.

And "Mary take you now," she sang,
"That lay against my heart."
And "Mary smooth your crib to-night,"
But she could not say "Depart."

Then came a cry from the sea,
But the sea-rime blinded the glass,
And "Heard ye nothing, mother?" she said,
"'Tis the child that waits to pass."

And the nodding mother sighed.
"'Tis a lambing ewe in the whin,
For why should the christened soul cry out
That never knew of sin?"

"O feet I have held in my hand,
O hands at my heart to catch,
How should they know the road to go,
And how should they lift the latch?"

They laid a sheet to the door,
With the little quilt atop,
That it might not hurt from the cold or the dirt,
But the crying would not stop.

The widow lifted the latch
And strained her eyes to see,
And opened the door on the bitter shore
To let the soul go free.

There was neither glimmer nor ghost,
There was neither spirit nor spark,
And "Heard ye nothing, mother?" she said,
"'Tis crying for me in the dark."

And the nodding mother sighed:
"'Tis sorrow makes ye dull;
Have ye yet to learn the cry of the tern,
Or the wail of the wind-blown gull?"

"The terns are blown inland,
The gray gull follows the plough.
'Twas never a bird, the voice I heard,
O mother, I hear it now!"

"Lie still, dear lamb, lie still;
The child is passed from harm,
'Tis the ache in your breast that broke your rest,
And the feel of an empty arm."

She put her mother aside,
"In Mary's name let be!
For the peace of my soul I must go," she said,
And she went to the calling sea.

In the heel of the wind-bit pier,
Where the twisted weed was piled,
She came to the life she had missed by an hour,
For she came to a little child.

She laid it into her breast,
And back to her mother she came,
But it would not feed and it would not heed,
Though she gave it her own child's name.

And the dead child dripped on her breast,
And her own in the shroud lay stark;
And "God forgive us, mother," she said,
"We let it die in the dark!"

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Gift of the Sea - Kipling
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 05:12 AM

Surely the fact that someone else has set a poem to music doesnt stop any one else doing a different setting Mary !
In Fact Kipling has been set by several tunesmiths other than Peter Bellamy

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Gift of the Sea - Kipling
From: Dave Earl
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 10:16 AM

Go for it!

All the ingredients for a Folk Song.:-)

Body count, happy story(?),mentions the sea!!!

I jest of course, do what you want with it, if it makes a song that people want to hear find or write a tune for it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Gift of the Sea (Kipling)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 01:41 AM


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Gift of the Sea (Kipling)
From: mg
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 03:22 AM

i was saying in the other thread you could sing it to the tune of mary of the wild moor. my preference is to give each song its own tune and not recycle but this one fits very nicely.

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Gift of the Sea (Kipling)
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 03:08 PM

Leadfingers: More than several! I once browsed in an article in an old Kipling Society journal (1920s) that listed sheet music for Kipling's songs. Some of his poems had attracted 20 or more tunes.

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