Announcing new choral music by William Copper

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New Lovelife Dances


William Copper


Chorus SATB, Piano 4 Hands



Choral Dances to texts from English poetry.

New Lovelife Dances, like its predecessor Lovelife Dances, is a song cycle with texts from a wide range of English poetry: love and life and love life in dance rhythms. The 14 poems used in the new set include some of the world's favorite English poetry in song, including "A Red, Red Rose", "It was a Lover and a Lass", "Come Live With Me and Be My Love", and more. The total music duration is about 28 minutes. All songs are SATB except as indicated. The vocal parts for New Lovelife Dances are slightly more challenging than those for Lovelife Dances, with slightly expanded range for soprano solo. Compare the range and tessitura chart for the two sets. The accompaniment (1 piano, 4 hands) is of medium difficulty.

See A Moss-Grown Spring for notes by the author.


In "New Lovelife Dances", William Copper exhibits a real flair for juxtaposing
varied and interesting texts -- alternately passionate, tender, jolly and wry --
exploring the many facets of love.  The 14 poems are brought to new life by
Copper's imaginative settings which never overpower the words with notes.  The
extended work is melodic throughout in both voices and keyboard, even in the
supporting parts.  With a texture reminiscent of the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes
and similar texts, one could easily regard "New Lovelife Dances" as a modern-day
descendant of the nineteenth century model; in fact, in performance this work
would pair extremely well with Brahms.

Dr. Robert Edgerton, Director of Choral Activities Emeritus, Winthrop University

1. Two Lovers by George Eliot (Marian Evans 1819-1880) Score Sample (pdf format)

1.  Two lovers by a moss-grown spring:        4.  Two parents by the evening fire:
   They leaned soft cheeks together there,       The red light fell about their knees
   Mingled the dark and sunny hair,              On heads that rose by slow degrees
And heard the wooing thrushes sing.           Like buds upon the lily spire.
      O budding time!                                O patient life!
      O love's best prime!                           O tender strife!

2.  Two wedded from the portal stept:         5.  The two still sat together there,
   The bells made happy carollings,              The red light shone about their knees;
   The air was soft as fanning wings,            But all the heads by slow degrees 
White petals on the pathway slept.            Had gone and left that lonely pair.
      O pure-eyed bride!                             O voyage fast!
      O tender pride!                                O vanished past!

3.  Two faces o'er a cradle bent:             6.  The red light shone upon the floor
   Two hands above the head were locked;         And made the space between them wide;
   These pressed each other while they rocked,   They drew their chairs up side by side,
Those watched a life that love had sent.      Their pale cheeks joined, and said, "Once more!"
      O solemn hour!                                 O memories!
      O hidden power!                                O past that is!

2. O My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns (1759-1796) Score Sample (pdf format)

1.  Oh, my luve's like a red, red rose       3.  Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, 
  That's newly sprung in June:                  And the rocks melt wi' the sun,
Oh, my luve's like the melodie               I will luve thee still, my dear,  
  That's sweetly played in tune.                While the sands o' life shall run.

2.  Oh, as fair art thou, my bonnie lass,    4.  And fare thee weel, my only luve!
  So deep in luve am I;                         And fare thee weel a while! 
And I will luve you still my dear,           And I will come again, my dear
  Till a' the seas gang dry.                    Though it were ten thousand mile 

3. Why So Pale and Wan, Fond Lover? by Sir John Suckling (1609-1642) Score Sample (pdf format)

Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
   Prithee why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
   Looking ill prevail? 
   Prithee why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner? 
   Prithee why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
   Saying nothing do't? 
   Prithee why so mute?

Quit, quit, for shame; this will not move,
   This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
   Nothing can make here:
   The devil take her! 

4. Come Live With Me and Be My Love by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) Score Sample (pdf format)

Come live with me and be my love,
  And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, or hill, or field, 
Or woods and steepy mountains yield.

5. What Thou Seest When Thou Dost Wake by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Score Sample (pdf format)

(from Midsummer Night's Dream) 
What thou seest, when thou dost wake,
  Do it for thy true love take;
Love and languish for his sake,
  Be it ounce or cat or bear,
Pard or boar with bristled hair
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wakest, it is thy dear;
Wake, when some vile thing is near.

6. It Was a Lover and a Lass by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Score Sample (pdf format)

(from As You Like It)
It was a lover and a lass, with a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn field did pass,
In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding.
  Sweet lovers love the spring. 

And therefore take the present time,  with a hey etc
For love is crowned with the prime, in spring etc

Between the acres of the rye 
These pretty country folks would lie, 
  With a hey etc

This carol they started that hour,
How that love was but a flower,
With a hey nonino.

7. Maid of Athens by Lord Byron (1788-1824) Score Sample (pdf format)

1.  Maid of Athens, ere we part,             3.  By that lip I long to taste;
Give, oh, give me back my heart!             By that zone-encircled waist;
Or, since that has left my breast,           By all the token-flowers that tell
Keep it now, and take the rest!              What words can never speak so well;
Hear my vow before I go,                     By love's alternate joy and woe, 
    Zwh mou sas agapw.                           Zwh mou sas agapw.

2.  By those tresses unconfined,             4.  Maid of Athens! I am gone:
Wooed by each Aegean wind;                   Think of me, sweet! when alone.
By those lids whose jetty fringe             Though I fly to Istambol,
Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge;        Athens holds my heart and soul:
By those wild eyes like the roe,             Can I cease to love thee? No!
    Zwh mou sas agapw.                           Zwh mou sas agapw.

8. Ask Me No Reason Why I Love You by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Score Sample (pdf format)

(From the Merry Wives of Windsor)
Ask me no reason why I love you.
For though love use reason for his precision,
He admits him not for his counselor.

You are not young, no more am I. 
Go to, then there's sympathy.  
You are merry, so am I.  
Ha, ha, there's more sympathy!
You love sack.  So do I.  
Would you desire better sympathy?
Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page,
(If the love of a soldier can suffice)
That I love thee. 

9. I Stood and Saw My Mistress Dance by James Shirley (1596-1666) Score Sample (pdf format)

I stood and saw my mistress dance,
  Silent, and with so fixed an eye,
Some might suppose me in a trance.
  But being asked why? 
By one that knew I was in love,
  I could not but impart
My wonder, to behold her move 
  So nimbly with a marble heart. 

10. First Love by Charles Stuart Calverly (1831-1884) Score Sample (pdf format)

Oh my earliest love, who, ere I numbered 
  Ten sweet summers, made my bosom thrill!
Will a swallow -- or a swift, or some bird -- 
  Fly to her and say, I love her still!

No, mine own! though early forced to leave you,
  Still my heart was there where we first met;
In those "Lodgings with an ample sea-view,"
  Which were, forty years ago, "To Let." 

11. Believe Not Him by anonymous (ca 1640) Score Sample (pdf format)

Believe not him whom love hath left so wise
  As to have power his own tale to tell;
For children's griefs do yield the loudest cries,
  And cold desires may be expressed well.
In well-told love most often falsehood lies,
But pity him that only sighs and dies. 

12. Oh No, We Never Mention Him by Thomas Haynes Bayley (1797-1839) Score Sample (pdf format)

Oh, no!  We never mention him, his name is never heard;
My lips are now forbid to speak that once familiar word 
From sport to sport they hurry me, to banish my regret. 
And when they win a smile from me, they think that I forget.

They bid me seek in change of scene the charms that others see,
But were I in a foreign land, they'd find no change in me.
'Tis true that I behold no more the valley where we met,
I do not see the hawthorn tree, but how could I forget? 

For oh! there are so many things recall the past to me,
The breeze upon the sunny hills, the billows of the sea,
The rosy tint that decks the sky before the sun is set;
Ay every leaf I look upon forbids me to forget.

They tell me he is happy now, the gayest of the gay;
They hint that he forgets me too, -- but I heed not what they say
perhaps like me he struggles with each feeling of regret:
But if he loves as I have loved, he never can forget.

13. I Do Confess, In Many a Sigh by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) Score Sample (pdf format)

I do confess, in many a sigh,
My lips have breath'd you many a lie,
And who, with such delights in view,
Would lose them for a lie or two?

14. John Anderson, My Jo by Robert Burns (1759-1796) Score Sample (pdf format)

John Anderson, my jo, John,
  When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
  Your bonnie brow was brent
But now your brow is beld, John,
  Your locks are like the snaw;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
   John Anderson, my jo.

John Anderson, my jo, John,
  We clamb the hill thegither;
And monie a canty day, John,
  We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter doun, John,
  But hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
  John Anderson, my jo.

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