Saturday Song: Four Shillings Short–The Stolen Child

Greetings from sunny Florida, where I’m spending ten days with my brother and his family. Today’s song is a setting of a poem by W. B. Yeats. A while back, I attended a concert by the group performing this, and you can read about that here. Preceding the song, you’ll hear a reading of the poem in both Irish and English. The text, which I copied from the Academy of American Poets website, is below the video. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

***

***

The Stolen Child
W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

***

Sunday Best: Four Shillings Short

This past Thursday evening, I attended a program of Irish music and folklore by a duo who call themselves Four Shillings Short. These are traveling musicians with a carload of over thirty instruments from all over the world including a Sitar from India and a Renaissance Krumhorn, to name only a couple. They sing and alternate between at least two of them during a given song.

Most of the songs were in celebration of the fall season. Interspersed among the musical selections were readings of poetry by Irish writers. One of these was William Butler Yeats’ “The Stolen Child,” and this was set to music. It’s based on the legend of the changeling when fairies replace a human baby with one of theirs. You can click below to hear it, preceded by a reading of the poem in Irish.

***

***

What’s the best thing that happened to you this past week? Please tell me about it. I hope something good happens to you this coming week.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

***