Poetry and Music: Glimmering Girl

I love music, and I love poetry, and I have a particular fondness for classic poetry set to original or, occasionally, traditional or classical music.

A beautiful example of this is the song Glimmering Girl by Irish soprano Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, from her album The Calling. It is set to an original tune by Méav and Craig Leon, but the words belong to a beautiful poem: The Song of Wandering Aengus by William Butler Yeats.

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Literary Soundtrack: Linnets & Valerians

One of the most enchanting little books one could possibly imagine!

Linnets & Valerians—also published as The Runaways—by Elizabeth Goudge is a perfect read for early summer; a children’s book for all ages, made of beautiful prose, everyday magic, and strawberry jam. I couldn’t recommend it more, and I couldn’t resist making a little playlist for it. It’s such a sweet, and such a beautiful novel, full of forests and flowers and animals and birds and bees and music and adventure. 🌿

The Lark Ascending

I Believe in Springtime

English Folk Song Suite

The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun

Narnian Lullaby

Jupiter Hymn

Morning has Broken

All Things Bright and Beautiful

The Trees They Grow So High

The Ash Grove

The entire Playlist on YouTube

Literary Soundtrack: The Dark is Rising

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper is a wonderful book, although it is not quite as well-known as it should be. It is the second, eponymous, volume in a remarkably beautiful middle-grade series, influenced by nature, season and local mythology.

This little playlist shall capture the atmosphere of this book, the snow and the wind, and the long dark nights of Christmastime. The protagonist, an eleven year old boy named Will Stanton, comes from a musical family, is an Anglican choir boy—a charmingly unusual trait for the hero of a fantasy novel!—and traditional Caroling and Wassailing, as well as the use of music as a means of magic, make an important theme.

The melodies of Greensleeves and Good King Wenceslas in particular are highlighted and involved in the story.

Here blows, despite, or maybe because of, my excitement for the beginning of Spring, the last, cold Winter wind.

John Rutter’s Suite Antique: Prelude

Fantasia on Greensleeves

In The Bleak Midwinter (Holst)

Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind

The Sheep Beneath The Snow, The Cutty Wren, St. Stephen’s Day

Good King Wenceslas

What Child is This (Variation of Greensleeves)

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Please To See The King (The Wren)

In The Bleak Midwinter (Darke)

The entire playlist on YouTube