“All in the April Evening”

Last year on Good Friday, I posted “All in the April Evening,” words and music by Sir Hugh Roberton, based on a poem by Katharine Tynan. I’d forgotten about it until a few minutes ago, when I looked at my stats page and saw the post has been viewed three times today.

Good Friday is past, but it’s never too late for music, so here it is again.

Roberton modified the words slightly; his version is the one I use. A link to the poem is here.

Links to performances and biographies of the composers follow.

Years ago my voice teacher introduced me to the song. Now I can’t sing it, because I can’t even hear it without tears.

***

All in the April evening
April airs were abroad
The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road
The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road
All in the April evening
I thought on the lamb of god

The lambs were weary and crying
With a weak human cry
I thought on the lamb of god
Going meekly to die
Up in the blue blue mountains
Dewy pastures are sweet
Rest for the little bodies
Rest for the little feet

But for the lamb, the Lamb of god
Up on the hilltop green
Only a cross, a cross of shame
Two stark crosses between

All in the April evening
April airs were abroad
I saw the sheep with the lambs
And thought on the Lamb of God

***

All in the April Evening
Sung by the Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Directed by Sir Hugh Roberton

 *

All in the April Evening”
Instrumental performed by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band

***

–from Wikipedia

Sir Hugh Stevenson Roberton (23 February 1874 – 7 October 1952) was a Scottish composer and Britain’s leading choral-master.

“Roberton was born in Glasgow, where, in 1906, he founded the Glasgow Orpheus Choir. For five years before that it was the Toynbee Musical Association. A perfectionist, he expected the highest standards of performance from its members. Its voice was a choir voice, its individual voices not tolerated. He set new standards in choral technique and interpretation. For almost fifty years until it disbanded in 1951, on the retirement of its founder, the Glasgow Orpheus Choir had no equal in Britain and toured widely enjoying world acclaim. Their repertoire included many Scottish folk songs arranged for choral performance, and Paraphrases, as well as Italian madrigals, English motets and the music of the Russian Orthodox Church. The choir also performed the works of Bach, Handel, Felix Mendelssohn, Peter Cornelius, Brahms and others.

“He wrote the choral work (words by Katharine Tynan) All in the April Evening, and the popular songs Westering Home and Mairi’s Wedding.

“He was a pacifist and member of the Peace Pledge Union. For this reason both he and the Glasgow Orpheus Choir were banned by the BBC from broadcasting during the Second World War.”

*

–from Wikipedia

Katharine Tynan (23 January 1859 – 2 April 1931) was an Irish writer, known mainly for her novels and poetry.

“Tynan was born into a large farming family in Clondalkin, County Dublin, and educated at St. Catherine’s, a convent school in Drogheda. Her poetry was first published in 1878. She met and became friendly with the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1886. Tynan went on to play a major part in Dublin literary circles, until she married and moved to England; later she lived at Claremorris, County Mayo when her husband was a magistrate there from 1914 until 1919.

“For a while, Tynan was a close associate of William Butler Yeats (who may have proposed marriage and been rejected, around 1885), and later a correspondent of Francis Ledwidge. She is said to have written over 100 novels. Her Collected Poems appeared in 1930; she also wrote five autobiographical volumes.

Superscripts have been deleted from the Wikipedia articles.

***

Fentress United Methodist Church (Fentress Community Church)
Fentress Presbyterian Church

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.